A couple of months ago, we featured here a guide for law clerks and externs. Now, we have another title that should help law clerks and externs greatly: the third edition of Judge Ruggero Aldisert’s Opinion Writing. Judge Aldisert is Chief Judge Emeritus and Senior U.S. Circuit Judge for the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 3rd Circuit. His handbook includes discussions of, among other things, the process of reaching and justifying a decision, the different sections of an opinion, and writing style, and offers checklists for both appellate opinions and trial court opinions. He offers suggestions for using the book by experienced and new judges and law clerks. For the latter, he says: “This book is for you. Start reading this book your very first day on the job” (p. xxx).
Opinion Writing is available on two-hour reserve at the Law Library’s circulation desk.
For a slightly different audience is Cracking the Case Method: Legal Analysis for Law School Success, by Paul Bergman, Patrick Goodman, and Thomas Holm, all of UCLA. Professor Bergman and his colleagues explain the process of legal analysis — that is, the “process of distilling discrete legal issues from stories and developing arguments to support the resolution of those legal issues” (p. xi) — for beginning law students. They include a discussion of final exam strategies.
Cracking the Case Method is available for check-out at the Law Library.