welcome

Scribes was founded in 1953 to honor legal writers and encourage a “clear, succinct, and forceful style in legal writing.” We seek to promote better writing throughout the legal community — in courthouses, law offices, publishing houses, and law schools. And we 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. To learn more about these activities, use the links at the top.
 
In addition, Scribes sponsors occasional legal-writing programs. In recent years, we 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 our application form under the “Membership” link at the top of this page. Please note that we 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 our membership categories, please click the “Constitution and Bylaws” link above and check the bylaws under article 1, section 1(a).
 

events

 2014 Scribes Annual Membership Luncheon

August 8, 2014

The 2014 Annual Membership Luncheon was held during the ABA Annual Meeting in Boston on Friday, August 8 at the Colonnade Boston Hotel, 120 Huntington Avenue, Boston. Talmage Boston spoke about "What Lawyers Can Learn from Abraham Lincoln About Communication." The Brief-Writing and Book Awards were given during the luncheon. 

Members passed the proposed changes to the Bylaws and Constitution. Please click here to read the changes to the Bylaws and click here to read the changes to the Constitution.

news

2014-2015 Scribes Book-Award Competition
Information will be posted for the 2014-2015 Book Award by mid-October
. The 2014 Book-Award winner was Margaret Jane Radin for Boilerplate: The Fine Print, Vanishing Rights, and the Rule of Law. Evan J. Mandery received an honorable mention for A Wild Justice: The Death and Resurrection of Capital Punishment in America

2014-2015 Scribes Law-Review Award
We are pleased to announce the 2014-2015 Scribes Law-Review-Award competition. Each law review or law journal is invited to submit one student-authored note or comment that has been, or will be, published between June 2, 2014 and May 31, 2015. The competition will be judged by the Scribes Law-Review Committee. The winning journal and the author of the winning note or comment will each receive a plaque at the 2015 National Conference of Law Review (NCLR) dinner. The 2015 NCLR will be held at the University of Louisville, Brandeis School of Law. You can access the Submission Letter to the Editor in Chief here and the Submission Form here.  The deadline to receive submissions is January 16, 2015.  Click here if you would like Guidelines for helping you write a better Note or Comment.

Volume 15 of The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing
has been mailed. This volume consists of two general-interest articles and transcripts of Bryan Garner's interviews with Justice Elena Kagen and five federal circuit-court judges including Hon. Frank H. Easterbrook, Hon. Pierre N. Leval, Hon. Sandra L. Lynch, Hon. Stephen R. Reinhardt, and Hon. Diane P. Wood.

2014-2015 Scribes Brief-Writing-Award Competition
Letters will be mailed by the end of November for the 2014-2015 Brief-Award competition.
The first-place winners of the 2013-2014 Brief-Writing-Award competition were Garret Bowman, Alyssa Dechow, and Del Guile from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Second-place winners were Ryan Cantu, Christian Dewhurst, and Kelsey Hope from South Texas College of Law.  And the third-place winners were Becky Lee and Farhaan Merchant from Georgia State University College of Law. You can read each winning brief by clicking on the student's names. The winning authors were recognized at the 2014 Scribes Annual Meeting in Boston on August 8, 2014. Plaques were awarded to the first-place authors and their school; certificates were presented to the second- and third-place winners.