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Legal Research and Writing Success: Seminar Papers and Notes

This guide features resources to help you succeed in LAW I & II as well as any advanced legal research or writing courses you take while at Moritz College of Law.

Scholarly Research and Writing

In LAW I and LAW II, our students focus on writing memos and briefs, practical legal documents.  Upper level students must also write a scholarly legal work, either a seminar paper or a student note for a journal.  Legal scholars write with different aims and different tools than writers of practical documents.  These resources can help you develop and craft your argument, support your claims, and even work towards publication.  Bear in mind that basic concepts like citation and plagiarism still matter in scholarly legal writing, so be sure to adhere to the Honor Code (see the Plagiarism tab for more).

Books About Scholarly Legal Writing

Library Guides on Scholarly Legal Writing

A number of libraries have gathered together sources related to scholarly legal writing, including books, articles, and websites.  Here are a couple of the most comprehensive lists.

Preserving Access to Websites

Help your readers avoid the "Error 404 -- File Not Find" message.  Use to archive any websites you cite in your seminar paper or note.  Here is some background on

What is

An online preservation tool that addresses the problem of broken hyperlinks in law review article citations. It was developed by Harvard Law Library in conjunction with other law libraries around the country.

What does do?

It creates a permanent archived version of a web page and assigns it a permanent URL address. If a web page is taken down, anyone can still access the page with the link.

When to use

To archive freely available web content not already published in permanent form. Examples would include: blog entries, news stories, press releases, government reports.

When not to use

To archive content in a subscription database.

How do I cite to links?

Bluebook Rule 18.2.1(d) encourages archiving Internet sources using a reliable archival tool like

When you use to archive a website, you should cite to the shortened, permanent URL that is created, in accordance with Rule 18.2.1(d).

How do I create a link?

Ask a law librarian about access to and creating links.

Writing Competitions

Once you have a well-researched, polished paper or note, you can submit it to a writing competition. 

Scholarly Research Tools

Microsoft Word Tips