or, the Trials and Tribulations of Ernest Scribbler
by Robert Hegadorn
As avid sports fans know, many college and professional athletes are heavily recruited to join a particular team. But every so often, a standout player comes to the sporting public’s attention as a “walk-on,” that is, a player who seemingly comes from nowhere, tries out at a team practice, and works their way to a prominent, mayhap even starring role with the home-town squad. This non-traditional path to success has its legal academic equivalent in the grand tradition of law journal write-on competitions, held at uncounted law schools since time immemorial (or at least since the time this writer was in law school).
The time has come again for the boldest ‘mongst the Villanova Law student body to go down this road, as well. Alas, like the course to true love, this path never does run smooth, but the Villanova University School of Law Library has or can recommend some resources to help you on your way, such as Patrick E. Murray’s Write on! A Guide to Getting on Law Review (2014), and EUGENE VOLOKH, ACADEMIC LEGAL WRITING: LAW REVIEW ARTICLES, STUDENT NOTES, SEMINAR PAPERS, AND GETTINGON LAW REVIEW (2010), Class Reserve KF250 V.6 2010. The Library has many other such works available. Consult the Library catalog, or OPAC, using the suggested subject search of “legal composition.”
For students taking part in the Moot Court competitions, works such as INTRODUCTION TO ADVOCACY: RESEARCH, WRITING, AND ARGUMENT (David Ware, et al. eds., 7th ed. 2002), Second Floor KF281 .A2 I57 2002, or LARRY L. TEPLEY, LAW SCHOOL COMPETITIONSINA NUTSHELL (2003), Hornbook Reserve, KF279 .T46 2003, may likewise prove helpful. Again, a search of the catalog for additional works on moot court writing may be made using subject searches such as “legal composition” as above, “moot courts,” or “legal briefs—United States.” And of course law students know never to embark on a writing project without their trusty Bluebook to hand, as well.
See a Reference Librarian for more on finding good advice for writers. Good luck to all taking part in Villanova’s Law Journal and Moot Court writing competitions!