So, you are on your way to becoming a lawyer. But, have you mastered the art of law essay writing? If you find yourself getting stuck on your law essays, you will find CustomEssayMeister helpful. Read on to learn how to write a law paper.
We have prepared a comprehensive set of tips to help you write a law paper.
Choosing a law essay topic: keep it relevant
There are two ways to make your law essay relevant: answer the question or the prompt you were given and provide context for your essay (you are your own arguments) in your introduction.
Making a law essay relevant does not mean that it should always tackle a social justice issue. Rather, it should directly and clearly answer the question or the task posed by your law professor. Many law professors complain that law students often ramble in their essays, which results in long, aimless essays. Rambling in your essays—that is, writing without a clear structure or outline in mind—only undermines the quality and authority of your argument.
The solution is to nip it right in the bud: make sure to state your thesis or your argument in the introduction of your essay. This is perhaps one of the most common tips for writing an introduction for any type of essay. But law school needs you to take it a notch higher. Your thesis should present a logical, well-reasoned thesis and make sure that you connect it back to the law. Connecting your answer to the law demonstrates not only your knowledge of the law but also your ability to think critically and apply it to a real-life situation.
Our second tip is one of the most important law essay introduction tips: provide context for your essay. That means that you should first explain the situation and/or the issue at hand before presenting your proposition. This will guide your reader on the facts of the case, which as you know is crucial in law. Furthermore, it will show your professor that you have read the case and have thought about it sufficiently.
It is a given that you should conduct your research before writing any essay. In law, you need to read and re-read the facts of the case or the question being asked, and then research the laws and other relevant cases to help you make your own case. Make sure that you understand the assignment correctly. Part of your research could be brainstorming with your classmates to ensure better understanding of the assignments and of the materials, and most importantly, of the laws you will talk about.
One more thing you should consider is the kind of reference you are required to use. If your law professor does not specify the type of references, make sure that you do not just rely on one type of source. Employ a combination of primary (e.g. interviews, cases, legal readings), secondary (e.g. textbooks, editorials, articles), and tertiary sources (e.g. encyclopedias, legal page websites). Most importantly, cite your sources properly!
The legal essay format
As with any piece of written work, when you write law essays, it is best to first make an outline. This will keep your thoughts structured and keep you from straying while you write about something as complex as, for instance, a business law essay. While it is advisable to follow the typical legal research outline format of Introduction-Body-Conclusion, focusing on the ideas and how to organize them makes the process of writing better.
There is really no one rule on how to write a law essay as it all depends on the topic and on your writing style. However, there are typical law answer formats. So, if you are being asked to define the word “law,” your essay will still need to have an introduction, a body, and a conclusion, but you will not have to talk about the details of a case. Rather, you will devote time in defining the word and the process of passing a law.
If you are being asked to write about Mens Rea in criminal law, for instance, you will have to take a different path from above. You will have to first define Mens Rea and refer to various conclusions of law with regard to Mens Rea.
Writing the draft
Once you have done sample research and analysis, and have done your legal research paper outline, you can proceed with writing your first draft. While writing, keep your outline in sight so that you can stay on track.
Take note that this is just the first draft. Your paper will likely go through 2 or 3 drafts before it becomes ready for submission. Do not ever assume that you can submit your first draft. Even if you followed your criminal law essay outline, your first draft is always going to turn out badly.
Make sure that the paragraphs are focused. Each point in your legal research outline format should have their own paragraphs. More complex points may take more than one paragraph. In any case, make sure that the topic of each paragraph is clear to your research by employing topic sentences.
Another common misconception among law students is that they need to write in long, complex sentences to sound knowledgeable. More often than not, long sentences become confusing and fail to deliver the message. Long sentences are not forbidden, of course, as long as they are understandable. Do not try to squeeze in too many ideas in one sentence. Do not be afraid to break down your thoughts into multiple short sentences.
The legal research paper format
A legal essay follows a specific format. Some professors require the typical APA or MLA citation style, but others require Bluebook or OSCOLA. The latter two are more commonly used in law school since they were specifically made for law essays. So, if you want to write for law school, you should familiarize yourself with these two. There are many law essay examples that you can use to help with your law school paper format. You should pay attention to font, spacing, margins, and headers. Be mindful of the pages in law cases as you need to cite those, too.
Likewise, you need to meet the word count specified by your professor. You may go above (unless otherwise stated), but keep it at 10%. However, never submit to class a legal essay that is below the required word count.
Revising the essay
It was mentioned earlier that you should not submit your first draft ever. Your essay will have to go through two to three revisions before it becomes presentable. If you want to maximize the time you will devote to revising your essay, it is advisable that you take some rest after writing. This guarantees that you have “fresh” eyes during the revision, which will enable you to see the flaws in your law essay. When you revise your essay, ask yourself these things:
- Does your essay address the prompt?
Re-read the prompt and see if your thesis statement and essay actually address them. Sometimes, your understanding of the prompt may even change a little. If you think this difference is crucial, then incorporate this in your essay as well.
- Does your thesis statement clearly present your arguments?
In addition to addressing the prompt, your thesis statement should present the arguments you will present in the essay. It should be easy to understand and free of grammatical errors, too.
- Are your arguments logically sound?
Question the strength of your arguments by trying to think of counterarguments. If your arguments can withstand counterarguments, then they are good to go. If not, try to patch up any loopholes you find.
- Did you connect your arguments to the law?
Check also if the connections are strong and well-explained.
- Are your ideas organized well?
Make sure that your ideas are presented in a logical manner, with all the connections well laid out for your reader. Always assume that your reader is not as familiar with the topic as you, so you need to spell out relevant details clearly.
- Is your essay coherent?
All the details of your essay must make a full circle and relate to the thesis statement. Similarly, your arguments must not undermine each other.
- Did you cite your sources properly?
Avoid unintentional plagiarism by double-checking all your sources. Any and all ideas that are not considered general knowledge and were not your own should be cited. Did you correctly follow OSCOLA or Blue Book? Did you include the page where laws you cited appeared?
- Check the minor details, too.
Did you meet the word count? Trim down your word count or add more as necessary. What about other minor instructions, were you able to do all of them?
Use these questions as a checklist when you revise your law essay or any essay for that matter. Make sure to go through from page one of your legal essay up to the reference page.
Proofreading the legal essay
Proofreading your essay is the last step of the revision process. Before starting with this, you might want to take a breather. Take a break from writing so that you can proofread and revise with fresh eyes. Conversely, you may ask someone, like a friend or roommate, to read your legal essay for you. This should be someone you trust will give you honest comments. They can point out to you parts that are not clear, loopholes in your arguments, and grammatical or typing errors you may have committed.
Once your friend or classmate has proofread your essay, go through the essay thoroughly yourself. This is also your chance to make sure that all your references were properly cited. Doing this will minimize errors and greatly improve the quality of your law essay.
Law essay writing help
We have carefully prepared these steps and tips to help you write a great legal essay. All of these are equally crucial to writing an A+ essay, so make sure to follow each step and consider our tips. Create an outline first before writing your essay. Remember to check if your thesis statement is strong enough and addresses the prompt, check the soundness of your arguments, make sure that your essay is organized and coherent, and finally, make sure that you cited all your sources accordingly.
However, if you feel that the essay you have written needs extra boost, feel free to contact us here at CustomEssayMeister. We are a ghostwriting service company, which includes a legal essay writing service that aims to provide academic help to all students, including law students. We have carefully studied the process of effective legal essay writing, and thus can provide you the best assistance with your law essay writing. If you feel that you need help with how to write a great law essay, you can head on to our website for custom essay help. You can ask us to help you with legal research paper outlines, coursework, case briefs, legal essays, or any other law assignment writing you need.