How I Improved My Exam Writing Skills, Legal Writing Skills, and Law School Grades
In my first semester of law school, my legal writing tutor recommended this book: Getting to Maybe.
After reading it, my grades went up, which I believe was in large part because of how this book helped me improve writing law school exams. It helps new law students understand what it means to “think like a lawyer.” That is, it gives students a framework for analyzing complex issues.
Reading this book also significantly increased my performance in our legal writing class. At the end of my first year, my professor said my writing went from below average to the best in the class. This progress was a direct result of reading this book, improving my writing organization, and practice.
I highly recommend this book to new law students who want a head-start improving their legal analysis skills, and especially for students struggling with their legal writing. Law students have so much to read, it’s hard to find more time for a book like this. But even reading a few chapters will provide students with a new paradigm for their legal analysis and writing.
This book would make a great gift for a student prior to starting law school because it is easy to read and introduces readers to subjects they will cover in their first-year courses. It is also very easy to read because of how each lesson is based on examples.
UPDATE: Some law school graduates felt that they spent too much time focused on this book, and it didn’t help as much as they expected. I spent about two hours skimming through the book when I was about one month into my first year of law school, and I felt it helped me a lot. However, I didn’t study the book in depth. I just used it to get a basic understanding of the types of legal concepts and how to organize them in writing, especially on written exams. So while this book is helpful, I suggest you casually read it rather than focus too much on lessons from the book.