Saturday, January 31, 2004

The antidote for bad legal writing - cash prizes?

On Instapundit, Professor Reynolds describes here a hefty prize offered for a student legal writing contest at the law school in Knoxville.

I can't say that we had any cash prizes for legal writing at my law school, or that we had at honors banquet, or that we had any banquets. (There was a write-on contest for the law review, which is how I made it.)

I can't say that anything I learned anything about writing in law school, either. I have some funny personal rules about writing, they must be funny because everyone laughs when they hear them, and apparently the funniest of these is that every paragraph in the brief must have 3, 4, or 5 sentences, never 2, never 6. This rule is was not part of the law school curriculum, but instead is sort of a relic of the "hamburger paragraph" taught in Ms. Boggs' 10th grade English. (But my favorite high school writing story is this - Coach Borden telling the class in 9th grade: "You people don't know how to edit! You look at the paper and say to yourself, 'These are my words, I love them!'")

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