2014 Write On Information Powerpoint

Everything You Need to Know About the
2014 Write-On Competition
Who We Are
 Destinee Roman — Houston Law Review
 [email protected]
 Ted Seeger— Houston Law Review
 [email protected]
 Amanda Pesonen — Houston Journal of
International Law
 [email protected]
 Dana Lizik— Houston Journal of Health Law &
 [email protected]
 Moises Morales— Houston Business & Tax Law
 [email protected]
Meeting Objectives
(1) You will know the eligibility requirements
to participate in the Write-On Competition.
(2) You will know the “what, where, when and
how” for the Write-On Competition.
(3) You will leave totally calm and not
overwhelmed at all (or at least have all your
questions answered).
What is the Write-On
 Law journals collaborate on an entry
competition by which eligible students may
gain membership.
 Each participant anonymously submits a 20–
30 page casenote analyzing an assigned
court decision.
 Eligibility requirements vary by journal.
 All journals require that members
 Have completed their first two semesters, and
 Have at least two full years remaining in law
Houston Law Review
 Destinee Roman — Houston Law Review
 [email protected]
 Ted Seeger— Houston Law Review
 [email protected]
 Grade-On: Top 10% of class or section
 Write-On: Top 30% of class or section
Houston Business &
Tax Law Journal
 Moises Morales
([email protected])
 Grade-On: Top 20% of class or section
 Apply-On: Top 35% of class or section OR A
or A- in at least one semester of LRW
 Write-On: Top 50% of class or section
What if you’re interested
in more than one journal?
 You can submit the same paper for all five
 You must submit a separate copy of your paper
for each journal you are interested in.
 Make sure to have all copies made and turned
in to Student Services by 5:00 p.m. on July 5th!
 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
Competition Dates
 Saturday, June 7, 2014, at 8:00 am.
 Assigned case will be posted on the Competition
 Thursday, July 3, 2014, 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).
 Friday-Saturday, July 12/13, 2014
 Invitations extended to selected students.
 This gives you time to update your resume before
 Selected students must respond to the
journal of their choosing by Friday, July 18,
2014, 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
 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.
Honor Code Rules
 All work must be your own.
 You cannot discuss research, legal theories,
citation 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.
 This does NOT mean you can’t get help before
the competition starts.
Getting Ready:
ON LAW REVIEW (4th ed. 2010).
 Get a copy of the Texas Manual on Usage
and Style (just Google it).
 Attend Professor Tabor’s Casenote Writing
Workshop on Saturday, June 8th (more
details to follow).
 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:
Case Recitation
Writing the Casenote:
 Read the case carefully (and each opinion).
 Research related case law (embedded cases are a good
place to start).
 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
 Continue researching the issue—use cases, statutes,
books, and scholarly articles (Googling can’t hurt, either).
 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 (use Word Count
to check).
 Every fact must have a footnote. Make sure to
properly use signals and parentheticals.
Tips for Writing
the Best Casenote
 Follow all formatting requirements.
 Figure out your point of view, state it clearly, and
argue it persuasively and efficiently throughout.
 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 (we want to see that you
can find and cite many different types of sources).
 Cite everything in proper Bluebook form and use
parentheticals explaining your authority.
 Citation, citation, citation! (every time there is a fact,
you have to verify that fact is true/can be inferred
from another source)
Strategies for Success
 MAKE SURE you update your access to
Westlaw or Lexis for the summer! Do it now!
 Start early, plan accordingly
 Outline your thoughts early and often
 Organization is key
 Check Bluebook form
 Proofread
 50% of your text is below the line, so that’s
where 50% of your time and attention should
be allocated
For more detailed instruction
on casenotes
 Attend Professor Tabor’s Casenote
Writing Workshop on June 8th!
 A video of the presentation from 2010 is
posted on the website
 Professor Tabor’s slides will be posted
on the website
 A packet of useful handouts on
Bluebooking and casenote formatting is
available on the website.
Why should I bother?
 It’s not as bad as it sounds!
 Participating on a journal has lots of
 The more you write, the better you get
at writing (and editing, citing, etc.).
Feeling Like This About
the Write-On?
Take a Deep Breath...
 It is totally doable (even if you are
working and taking a class).
 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
Who We Are
 Destinee Roman — Houston Law Review
 [email protected]
 Ted Seeger— Houston Law Review
 [email protected]
 Amanda Pesonen — Houston Journal of
International Law
 [email protected]
 Dana Lizik— Houston Journal of Health Law &
 [email protected]
 Moises Morales— Houston Business & Tax Law
 [email protected]