Who Values Legal Writing and Analysis?
Employers do, and you should, too.
Employers make hiring decisions based on the quality of your writing. You might be everyone's favorite law clerk, but get no offer because of your writing. You might be everyone's favorite lawyer, but with a reputation for poor writing, senior attorneys will stop giving you work. This is a professional kiss of death.
Employers put such a premium on legal writing and analysis that -- often at substantial cost -- they routinely hire outside professionals to teach it to summer associates and new lawyers. One of them, Ross Guberman of Legal Writing Pro, whose clients include national and international law firms, federal and state agencies, bar associations and CLE providers, has generously offered to share his "Ten Tips for Summer Writing Success."
At one of the very few schools with a three-year-writing requirement, you have a series of opportunities to improve your writing before you go to work, beginning with a Legal Writing Program designed by Prof. Brad Clary, who has 25 years of experience hiring, training and supervising new lawyers, and moving through journals, moot courts, clinics and seminars. When you go to work with a clear understanding of the importance of writing and analysis and the good skills that you have begun to develop, you will have improved your chances of being perceived as a "star."