Writing a case note for law review

Pencil or pen — which is better to use when annotating? Unlike annotating, highlighting provides an effective way to color code, which makes referring to the case even easier.

As you hit these elements or what you think are these elements make a mark in the margins. I am making those memos available here because they may be of use to current members of the Western New England Law Review and law review members at other law schools.

Elements that you may want to consider including in addition to the four basic elements are: You are the person that the brief will serve! Be sure to distinguish the issues from the arguments made by the parties. When you read your first few cases, you may think that everything that the judge said was relevant to his ultimate conclusion.

Bloomberg Law Introduction Researching, writing and possibly publishing a law review note can be a daunting prospect.

Choosing a Note Topic: Getting Started

What rationale is important to include in a brief? For each different section of the case, choose a color, and use that color only when highlighting the section of the case designated for that color. If you do this, however, you will exhaust your other colors much faster than yellow and this will require that you purchase an entire set of new highlighters when a single color runs out because colors such as green are not sold separately.

Consider using yellow for the text that you tend to highlight most frequently. By their very nature briefs cannot cover everything in a case. Annotating Cases Many of you probably already read with a pencil or pen, but if you do not, now is the time to get in the habit.

Your pencil or pen will be one of your best friends while reading a case. You can direct your reading to the most important sections and will have an easier time identifying what is and is not important.

Case briefs are a necessary study aid in law school that helps to encapsulate and analyze the mountainous mass of material that law students must digest. Remember, the reason to make a brief is not to persuade the world that the ultimate decision in the case is a sound one, but rather to aid in refreshing your memory concerning the most important parts of the case.

I am making those memos available here because they may be of use to current members of the Western New England Law Review and law review members at other law schools. Annotations will also remind you of forgotten thoughts and random ideas by providing a medium for personal comments.

The goal is to remind yourself of the basic reasoning that the court used to come to its decision and the key factors that made the decision favor one side or the other. Overly long or cumbersome briefs are not very helpful because you will not be able to skim them easily when you review your notes or when the professor drills you.

One subject in which Procedure History is virtually always relevant is Civil Procedure. When describing the Judgment of the case, distinguish it from the Holding.

It makes cases, especially the more complicated ones, easy to digest, review and use to extract information. There is usually one main issue on which the court rests its decision. Whatever you choose to do, make sure that it works for you, regardless of what others recommend.

Choose a Topic You Find Personally Interesting It will be much easier to spend the necessary hours putting your note together and being enthusiastic about your topic in interviews or meetings with editors if the topic is one you find personally interesting, rather than one chosen for seeming 'important' or 'scholarly'.

If annotating and highlighting are so effective, why brief? This may seem simple, but the court may talk about multiple issues, and may discuss multiple arguments from both sides of the case.

Choosing a Note Topic: Getting Started

While you're investigating topics, keep track of what you've looked at and all the materials that come up in your preemption check - these will be the resources you'll want to look at later.

For instance, if the fact that a car is white is a determining factor in the case, the brief should note that the case involves a white car and not simply a car.

Finally, when you spot a particularly important part of the text, underline it or highlight it as described below. What issues and conclusions are relevant to include in a brief? It might seem strange that it would be hard to reference a short case, but even a short case will likely take you at least fifteen to twenty-five minutes to read, while longer cases may take as much as thirty minutes to an hour to complete.

Once you have a topic in mind, it is essential to make sure that the topic has not already been covered by other writers or made obsolete by court decisions or legislative action. The relevant issue or issues, and corresponding conclusions, are the ones for which the court made a final decision and which are binding.

The case brief represents a final product after reading a case, rereading it, taking it apart, and putting it back together again. In addition to these elements, it may help you to organize your thoughts, as some people do, by dividing Facts into separate elements: In the personal experience on one of the authors, the sections of cases that seemed to demand the most highlighter attention were the Facts and the Analysis, while the Issues and Holdings demanded the least.

With a pencil, however, the ability to erase and rewrite removes this problem.Case Note for Law Review. This is a 15 page, double-spaced case note on U.S.

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guide to writing a student law review note For approximately 10 years I served as the faculty advisor to the Western New England Law Review. During that period I wrote a series of memoranda on various aspects of the student note writing process. ACADEMIC LEGAL WRITING: LAW REVIEW ARTICLES, STUDENT NOTES, SEMINAR PAPERS, AND GETTING ON LAW REVIEW by EUGENE VOLOKH Gary T.

Schwartz Professor of Law UCLA School of Law with foreword by JUDGE ALEX KOZINSKI U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit FOUNDATION PRESS NEW YORK, NEW YORK. Writing a law review note, or article that analyzes an original legal issue, presents a hands-on opportunity for you to learn about legal scholarship, improve your chances of being selected for your law review’s executive board, and, if published, to build your resume.

For writing a law review note, however, you will also want to consider other sources - treatises, current awareness services, blogs and other legal commentary, books, historical sources, etc.

And the best way to make sure you're considering all your options is to 5.

Make Use of Your Law Librarians! An article is broader still and, unlike a case note or comment, is a non-student legal essay written either by a noted legal authority or a person with expertise in a certain area.

In selecting a case that merits analysis, the Law Review Staff looks for a.

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Writing a case note for law review
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