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Case Study: Scribes

The American Society of Legal Writers

Scribes was founded in 1953 to honor legal writers and encourage a “clear, succinct, and forceful style in legal writing.” They seek to promote better writing throughout the legal community — in courthouses, law offices, publishing houses, and law schools. And they hope to spread the growing scorn for legal writing that is archaic, turgid, obscure, and needlessly dull.
 
Scribes gives three annual writing awards; publishes a quarterly newsletter, The Scrivener; and publishes a unique and highly regarded journal, The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing. 
 
In addition, Scribes sponsors occasional legal-writing programs. In recent years, they have cosponsored programs at the annual meeting of the American Bar Association and with the New York City Bar’s Legal History Committee; sponsored a program on jury instructions at the annual meeting of the Association of American Law Schools; and sponsored writing seminars for students at Stetson University College of Law, South Texas College of Law, the University of Houston Law Center, the University of Nevada at Las Vegas, Saint Louis University Law School, Chicago-Kent College of Law, and The John Marshall Law School.
 
Finally, for anyone who would like to join Scribes, there’s a link to their application form under the “Membership” link at the top of this page. Please note that they also have a category of institutional membership for law schools and appellate courts; please contact Executive Director Bradley Charles for additional information. For more about their membership categories, please click the “Constitution and Bylaws” link above and check the bylaws under article 1, section 1(a).