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The Law School Writing Center

Invariably, it is this for which I write: the joy … of an argument firmly made, like a nail straightly driven, its head flush to the plank.    — George Will

Learning to write like a lawyer is perhaps the greatest challenge of legal education, and even practiced attorneys can work at making their arguments more persuasive and cogent.

The Writing Center does not guarantee better grades. Nor do we offer proofreading or editing services, or assist in analyzing substantive legal issues. Instead, we advise on issues of style, mechanics, and argument structure; writing for particular audiences; and choosing rhetorical strategies. We encourage students to become stronger legal writers by taking an active part in the consultation and revision process.

The Law School Writing Center provides students with individualized, professional writing help at no charge. Please read the Frequently Asked Questions and feel free to contact the Writing Center if you need additional information about this service.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can the writing consultant help me?

The writing consultant is available to talk with you about any of your law school-related writing, unless otherwise indicated by your professor. This may include briefs, memos, papers, review notes, resumes, and cover letters. The consultant can advise on issues of grammar, clarity, argument structure, and rhetorical strategies.

However, the consultant cannot guarantee better grades, help you contest a grade, or assist with your understanding of legal issues.

How long does a session last?

Generally, meetings last between 45 minutes and 1 hour. If you need more time, it's best to schedule an additional appointment.

What should I do to prepare for the session?

To optimize your time with the writing consultant, please e-mail the writing center, at least 24 hours in advance, and include:

  • A brief description of the assignment
  • Your latest working draft (attached)
  • Any particular concerns you have about the draft

Then, bring any assignment prompts and related notes to your writing consultation.

I don't even have a draft written yet. May I still schedule an appointment?

Certainly. The writing center is here as a resource for you during any stage of your writing process. The consultant can help you devise a plan for your writing assignment, talk with you about problems like writer's block, discuss ESL concerns, and provide you with useful handouts.

Will anyone else know about my writing consultation?

No. Your visit to the writing center is completely confidential. However, many faculty members encourage students to utilize the writing center's services. If you would like your professor to know that you visited the center, the writing consultant can send him/her a note.

How do I schedule an appointment?

E-mail the writing consultant at: writing-center@law.utexas.edu. Be sure to include your name and a contact phone number in your message. Alternatively, you may drop by during office hours to set up an appointment.

How do I get to the Writing Center?

The Writing Center is located on the ground floor of TNH in the East wing of the building near CCJ, in a suite of cubicles along with the Multicultural Center. The Writing Center is the middle cubicle.

Who is the writing consultant?

Courtney Cook is a doctoral student in the Cultural Studies in Education program. She has more than six years experience as a writing teacher, a writing tutor, and a writing coach.

The Law School Writing Center
The University of Texas School of Law
Townes Hall, 2.128 B
727 E. Dean Keeton Street
Austin, Texas 78705
(512) 232-2346
writing-center@law.utexas.edu

FAQs

Phone

232-2346

Location

TNH 2.128B

Hours:

  • Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and by appointment.

Writing Consultant

Courtney Cook is a doctoral student in Cultural Studies in Education.

To schedule:

E-mail at least 24 hours in advance of your desired time, and include:

  • A brief description of the assignment
  • Your latest working draft (attached)
  • Any particular concerns you have about the draft