Legal Writing Center

The School of Law's Legal Writing Center is available to all University of Maryland law students, of all writing abilities, who want to strengthen their legal writing. It provides a place to get one-on-one feedback on your writing from a student peer; one who is both a strong writer and who has been trained to help others with their writing.

What kinds of writing can I take to the Center?

You can come to The Legal Writing Center with any law school-related writing: Seminar papers, Appellate Advocacy briefs, Writing Samples for job interviews, clinic work, Legal Memoranda for a LAW or Advocacy course, and any papers intended to fulfill the Advanced Writing Requirement. (Subject to any restrictions your individual professors might place on your use of The Legal Writing Center.)

What kind of feedback will I get from the Writing Fellows?

Writing Fellows can help you at all stages of your writing process; they will be prepared to comment on most aspects of your writing, from grammar, citation form, style, and small scale organization, to large scale organization and analytical coherence. However, because the Writing Fellows will not be experts in specific substantive topics, their comments will not address the accuracy of your paper's substance.

The overall feedback you can expect from Writing Fellows will be the kind that helps you think through the problem posed by your assignment, and that focuses on the legal reader's reactions to the text. This feedback will help you see any areas where your document may create confusion and the reasons for that confusion, and it will encourage you to come up with your own solutions. At times, a Writing Fellow might give you suggestions on how you could revise a particular passage. Such help will be done by way of example, not for an entire paper.

The Writing Fellows are not there to proofread your papers, nor are they editors. They will not, of course, rewrite your papers for you. However, they can spot patterns of writing problems and give you feedback on how to address these problems.

You should not expect to come to The Legal Writing Center for last-minute "fixes" the night before a paper is due. The Legal Writing Center will focus on giving you the kind of help that will have a long-term effect on your writing. You will learn to be your own best editor!

Where can I find The Legal Writing Center and when is it open?

The Legal Writing Center is located on the 4th floor of the law school, in room 400. It is open approximately 40-50 hours per week, including evening hours. The weekly schedule will fluctuate depending on the month and semester, as well as the Writing Fellows' own school schedules. Please check our appointment systemís current calendar for specific operating hours: http://law.blackboard.umaryland.edu/

How can I sign up for an appointment?

All appointments are scheduled through our online appointment system; this appointment system is available to all law students through our Writing Center Blackboard page. As a registered law student, you are automatically enrolled in our Blackboard page so you can access our appointment system and electronic resources.  If you have any questions about scheduling an appointment, step-by-step instructions for working within our appointment program are available on this Blackboard page.

When you schedule an appointment, you will be prompted to fill out an online questionnaire form.  Please be as specific as possible when you complete the form fields of this questionnaire. The more we know about what you hope to accomplish during your appointment, the better prepared we will be to help you.  If you intend to submit a paper for a Writing Fellow to review prior to your appointment, draft papers must be submitted through our appointment system 24 hours before your scheduled appointment time for every 15 pages of text to be reviewed.

If you have any additional questions about The Legal Writing Center or questions about how to best utilize this resource, please contact Legal Writing Program Coordinator, Noah Siela, at
nsiela @ law.umaryland.edu
, or Professor Sherri Keene at
skeene @ law.umaryland.edu


We look forward to seeing you in The Legal Writing Center!

Outstanding Student Papers in the DigitalCommons@ UM Carey Law

In 2006, the law school established an area within the DigitalCommons@ UM Carey Law repository of law school scholarship to collect and highlight outstanding student papers.  If you’d like more information about this repository or to learn how you can submit a paper to it, please visit our Writing Competitions webpage.

FEEL FREE TO STOP BY TO BROWSE THROUGH OUR LIBRARY OF LEGAL WRITING PUBLICATIONS OR TO INQUIRE ABOUT UPCOMING COMPETITIONS.


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500 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1786 PHONE: (410) 706-7214 FAX: (410) 706-4045 / TDD: (410) 706-7714

Copyright © 2014, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. All Rights Reserved