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The Legal Writing Teaching Assistant:

The Law Student's Guide to Good Writing

Professor Marc A. Grinker
Copyright (c) 1994 by Marc A. Grinker.
Version 1.1


This guide provides explanations of the rules of grammar, punctuation, and good writing that are most important to legal writing. It also includes exercises (with answers) on each of the topics discussed. Because efficiency in use is an important goal, it is by necessity not a complete reference to good writing. For such a reference, you may want to consult one of the commonly utilized style guides, such as the Chicago Manual of Style. You will also find help in the required legal writing text, Richard K. Neumann, Jr., Legal Reasoning and Legal Writing (2d ed. 1994).

This guide has three parts plus a table of contents. Part I contains explanations of the rules relating to each topic listed in the table of contents; Part II provides a series of exercises testing your knowledge of those topics; and Part III provides answers to those exercises.

You also may have this text running in your web browser while you are writing a memorandum, brief, or other paper in a Windows word processor, such as WordPerfect or Microsoft Word. Thus, you can easily switch from your word processing file to this document, and back again, if you find you need an explanation of a rule of writing while you are preparing your paper. The exercises contained in this guide run in your browser with the aid of a plug-in called NEURON which needs to be installed on your computer in order to complete the exercises.  Please download and install the plug-in from Neuron's Website.

The program will ask you to rewrite the exercises on your screen. It will tell you whether you have rewritten them correctly and, if you have not, it will provide you with the correct response.

Version 1.1 of this guide is the first edition, created specifically for use by the Chicago-Kent College of Law first-year class entering in August 1994.