legal writing tips for law students: from first year and beyond

If you are a law student and looking for better tips to enhance your legal writing skills, you have got this. 

Here I will share every legal writing tips to help you meet each demand of legal writing skills.

legal writing tips for law students

As a law student,  regardless you are in a certificate, diploma, degree, or postgraduate, whether you are in the first year or last year, you will write a lot.

From class assignments, tests, dissertations, to even emails to your lecturers and supervisors. You are writing constantly and the best part is, you are expected to write in the legal profession quality.

In fact, during your life as a law student, your grades depend on writtings.

Sound scary? don’t worry, I have pulled every hints and tip to help you meet every demand of legal writing depend on your college level.

Let’s get started

legal writing tips for the first-year law students

Polish your work

College instructors tend to spend less time commenting on your writing itself (grammar, spelling, etc.).

They want to focus on your ideas and the information you present to support them. Generally, they’ll expect to see strong legal writing.

How does a beginner like you archive strong writing to impress the college instructor? the answer is through Grammarly.

Grammarly is the writing tool that can help you polish your work by dealing with issues like grammar and punctuation, and it can also help you rewrite unclear sentences, identify the passive voice, and strengthen your word choice.

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With that built-in help from Grammarly, you can focus on the substance of your writing, and your professors won’t be distracted by mistakes or confusing sentences.

Grammarly should be in every law student toolbox and it is FREE to download!

Get Grammarly now    or learn more about Grammarly

Plan your work

Managing your college workload during your first year is tiresome. Apart from assignments and tests, each class may require just one or two long and in-depth papers over the course of the semester depending on the syllabus.

When it comes to sitting down and writing those assignments and papers, give yourself permission to work in stages.

Start by jotting down ideas, then arranging them into a loose outline. Visit your instructor’s office hours and share what you’re thinking about. Often, you’ll end up having a conversation that sparks even more ideas for your paper.

legal writing tips for law students beyond your first year

Made it through your first year? Congratulations! Now that you’ve completed your intro classes, it’s time to get into some of the really challenging (and interesting!) coursework.

Write in an appropriate style

From the second year and above, you will have an option to select one or two courses to study in addition to all compulsory courses.

Be careful!

As you start taking more specialized classes, the types of legal writing you do will become more specialized, too.

I advise you to opt course that you are interested in.

For example, if you opt to take more international law subjects like International criminal law, Public international law, Private international law, etc. your writing tone must match with the subject.

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Once you are interested, it will be easier to find, learn, and write in an appropriate style of the specific field.

Read how to astonishingly improve your legal writing skills to get a clue.

Write clearly

As you advance in your studies, you’ll need to continue refining your legal writing skills.

In law writing clearly is a must.

As a law student, you have to write clearly to pass. 

The following is how you can write clearly as a law student

  1. Use the appropriate vocabularies
  2. Write short paragraphs
  3. simplify your ideas
  4. Go straight to the point  
  5. Be neat

Do you need a shortcut to all of that when writing your assignments? use Grammarly.

If you’re using Grammarly, you can set your writing style to match what you’re working on.

When you set writing goals with Grammarly, choosing “Academic” will tailor Grammarly’s suggestions to help you find the right level of formality in your assignments. 

Get Grammarly now 

Write with purpose

Before starting to write a single word you must ask yourself ‘why I’m I writing this?’

In many instances, as law students, you are writing to demonstrate your skills or knowledge on a certain subject matter.

In other words, you are writing to satisfy the examiner.

If that is the case, then don’t complicate issues.

To Succesful satisfy the examiner, you must;

  1. understand the question
  2. Start strong
  3. Hit the points
  4. when necessary ask for clarification

legal writing tips for law students on final year

Eventually, you’ll look up and realize your graduation date isn’t actually too far off. Welcome to your final year!

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Plan your thesis

If your major requires a thesis or senior project, start planning now. As this is your culminating writing project, you’ll want to produce your best work yet. You’ll draw on all the skills you’ve developed over the last few years, including researching, drafting, outlining, and of course, writing.

See: Step by step guide on how to conduct legal research and report writing

Avoid plagiarism 

Writing your first college research paper can feel intimidating.

One of the best ways to set yourself up for success is to keep careful notes about the sources you use when writing your paper.

Including ideas and information from other sources in your paper is fine—that’s the whole point of a research paper!

The key is to credit them properly.

Need help? use Grammarly’s built-in plagiarism checker. 

Grammarly’s built-in plagiarism checker can compare your paper to billions of online sources to help flag passages that may need citations. But remember, even if you’re paraphrasing a source, you’ll still need to credit it. That’s where your notes come in!

Assess your progress

Every now and then, take a moment to appreciate how you’ve grown as a law student and a legal writer.

Compare your legal writing now to your work from your first year—you’ll see a difference!

It is easier to access your legal writing progress with Grammarly

Just take a look at your Weekly Insights email from Grammarly (which you receive once you sign up for a Grammarly account). You’ll see just how much you’re writing, how you use vocabulary, and how your legal writing has improved over time.

Best of luck! 

Isack Kimaro

Editor-in-chief and founder of Holder of Bachelor of Laws (LL.B) from Mzumbe University and Post Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice from the Law school of Tanzania. Lawyer by profession and blogger by passion.

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