Professor J. Scott Colesanti has published his first book, Legal Writing, All Business (Carolina Academic Press 2016). The 246-page legal writing coursebook was officially released in late July.
A professor of legal writing who previously served as a litigator, arbitrator and counselor, Professor Colesanti has taught courses in legal writing for eight years. He has designed a dozen law school courses and authored such documents as charging instruments, pleadings, speeches, substantive blog posts, law review articles and case comments.
From the Publisher
This course book stresses the basics of Legal Writing, condensed to a 2-part formula. This universal formula is then demonstrated within a variety of legal documents, ranging from such traditional formats as the Office Memorandum and Trial Motion to such omnipresent forms as the industry Comment Letter and law school Note. Dedicated chapters focus on locating proper legal language and opportunities for practice at Legal Writing. Subtleties such as the consistent need for policy arguments and counter-analyses are also emphasized.
Each of the 14 chapters commences with clearly stated outcome objectives, followed by instruction. That instruction pauses for “Weak” and “Better” examples and exercises; both the examples and the exercises are focused on business law principles, cases, and statutes. The student thus engages in a true “learn as you go approach,” completing over 30 exercises while gaining the additional takeaway of a familiarity with business law topics both time-honored (e.g., “piercing the corporate veil”) and timely (e.g., Bitcoin, crowdfunding, and online gambling).
The accompanying Teacher’s Manual includes detailed answers to each of the course book exercises, as well as considerations for follow-up discussion and an additional exercise per chapter. The manual also suggests a model syllabus for a 14-week 1L Legal Writing course.
Overall, Legal Writing, All Business avoids the traps of omnibus legal writing texts (which stretch to cover research, analysis, oral argument and grammar) and scattered subject matter (ranging from torts to criminal law).