Everything You Need to Know About the Write

Everything You Need
to Know About the
2011 Write-On
Who We Are
• Jennifer Smith — Law Review
 [email protected]
• Chelsea Keeton — Law Review
 [email protected]
• Brian Baker — Journal of International Law
 [email protected]
• Donald Collier — Journal of Health Law & Policy
 [email protected]
• Lute Barber — Business & Tax Law Journal
 [email protected]
• Ryan Becker — Environmental & Energy Law Journal
 [email protected]
• Nadia Barrow — Consumer & Commercial Law Journal
 [email protected]
What is the Write-On?
• Five journals collaborate on an
entry competition by which
eligible students may gain
• Each write-on participant
anonymously submits a 20-30
page casenote analyzing an
assigned court decision.
Who is Eligible to
• Each journal has different
requirements. Check each
journal’s website for participation
HLR –Top 30% of class.
HJIL – Top 50% of class.
HBTLJ – Finished first year.
HJHLP – Finished first year.
EELPJ – Finished first year.
Competition Dates
• Saturday, June 18, 2011, at 8:00 am.
– Assigned case will be posted on the Competition
– http://www.houstonlawreview.org/about/write-on-competition
• Thursday, July 7, 2011, at 5:00 pm.
– Papers due to Student Services Office, with
identification form.
– All copies must be made and the identification form
filled out no later than 5:00 p.m.
– Late submissions will be refused!
– If you’re out of town, your casenote must be
postmarked by this date (send to Student Services,
not individual journals).
Winner Notification
• July 15, 2011
– Invitations extended to selected students.
• Selected students must respond to the
journal of their choosing by Friday, July 22,
2011, at 5:00 p.m.
• Your submission is identified only by your
PeopleSoft number. You will also submit
an identification form with your paper,
which Student Services will retain until
the journals have made their selections.
• Do not put your name on your paper or
otherwise indicate your identity!
• The names of selected candidates are only
revealed when their papers are chosen. If
your paper is not selected, your identity
will never be revealed to the journals.
What if you’re interested
in more than one journal?
• You must submit a separate copy of your
paper for each journal you are interested in.
• Make sure to have all copies made and
ready to turn in to Student Services by 5:00
p.m. on July 7th!
• The Identification Form to be turned in with
your paper contains a space for you to rank
the journals you are applying for in order of
Getting Ready:
ON LAW REVIEW (3d ed. 2007).
• Attend Professor Tabor’s Casenote Writing
Workshop on June 11, 2010 from 10:30
a.m. to 12 p.m. in 211 TUII.
• Find and Read Examples of casenotes
online. There are some available on the
HLR website, as well as on the websites of
many leading law schools.
Parts of a Casenote:
• Introduction
• Case Recitation
• Analysis
• Conclusion
Writing the Casenote:
• Read the case carefully
• Research related case law
• Start focusing your thoughts on one aspect of the case
or tie in various aspects to support one unified idea.
– Ex: case law the court relied on, legislative history,
related opinions, patterns in the law, dissenting opinions
• Use your research to assist you in taking a unique
stance on that aspect through a strong thesis
• Continue researching the issue—use cases, statutes,
books, and scholarly articles
• Analyze and evaluate the court’s approach to the issue
and the types of arguments the court is making
• Consider what might happen if the rule from the case
is applied to various hypotheticals
Formatting Requirements
• 20-30 pages.
• Double-spaced text & footnotes.
• Times New Roman 12-point font for both
text & footnotes.
• 1” margins (top, bottom, left, right).
• No tricks on word spacing, etc!
• ~50/50 text to footnote ratio.
• Every verifiable statement must have a
footnote. The best footnotes have
Tips for Writing
the Best Casenote
• Follow all formatting requirements.
• Figure out your point of view, state it clearly,
and argue it persuasively throughout.
• Communicate your ideas efficiently.
• Keep your legal theories simple – don’t try to
overcomplicate the subject.
• Research as thoroughly as you can and use a
variety of sources in your paper.
• Cite everything in proper Bluebook form and
use parentheticals explaining your authority.
• Citation, citation, citation
Strategies for Success
• MAKE SURE you update your access to
Westlaw or Lexis for the summer! Do it
• Limited timeframe—Start Early
• Outline your thoughts early and often
• Organization is Key
• Check Bluebook Form
• Proofread
Honor Code Rules
• All work must be your own.
• You cannot share research.
• Don’t discuss research, legal theories, cite
form, grammar, word choice, or any other
aspect of your paper with anyone.
• No one can proofread your paper.
• It’s a violation of the honor code if this rule is
not strictly followed.
• THE ONLY EXCEPTION: You can use the
Lexis/Westlaw aides (through the website)
and the UHLC Reference Librarians, for “how
do I find this” questions.
For more detailed
instruction on casenotes
• Attend Professor Tabor’s Casenote
Writing Workshop!
• June 11, 2011, from 10:30 a.m. to
12:00 p.m., in 211 TUII.
• A packet of useful materials will be
made available on the website as we get
close to the competition start date.
Why should I bother?
• It’s not as bad as it sounds –
• Participating on a journal has
lots of benefits.
• The more you write, the better
you get.
Feeling Like This About
the Write-On?
Take a Deep Breath...
It is totally doable.
You could grade on.
You could apply on.
The Journal of Consumer &
Commercial Law offers students a
chance to get the benefits of being
on a journal without having to go
through the Write-On Competition
to join.
Any questions???
Who We Are
• Jennifer Smith — Law Review
 [email protected]
• Chelsea Keeton — Law Review
 [email protected]
• Brian Baker — Journal of International Law
 [email protected]
• Donald Collier — Journal of Health Law & Policy
 [email protected]
• Lute Barber — Business & Tax Law Journal
 [email protected]
• Ryan Becker — Environmental & Energy Law Journal
 [email protected]
• Nadia Barrow — Consumer & Commercial Law Journal
 [email protected]