The post is aimed at 1Ls juggling their research and writing assignments at this time of year, and lamenting that they have to spend so much time on these assignments when their doctrinal classes are so important.
Jarmon believes that students feel this way partially because they don’t really understand the practice of law, and the following are some of the points that she tries to get across to them:
- Legal writing is very different for most students from any past writing and cannot be learned overnight. Legal writing skills need to be learned through practice.
- Law firms can have summer clerks and new attorneys learn the law – whether it’s a new topic or an entire new specialty area. Law firms cannot teach summer clerks or new attorneys how to research and write. They expect competence in those skills. A strong foundation is needed for the work that is completed every day in practice.
- Law firms take legal research and writing grades seriously. They will looks at those grades to determine whether the person can be competent in the typical work that will be assigned.
- High grades in doctrinal courses are important but indicate different skills than legal writing grades.
- Legal research and writing skills will be used every day of your lives as attorneys. With stronger skills when you leave law school, you will struggle less as attorneys.
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