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 Norman E. Plate 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 Scribes Annual Membership Luncheon will be held during the ABA Annual Meeting in Boston on Friday, August 8, from Noon - 2:00 p.m. in the Braemore/Kenmore Rooms, Colonnade Boston Hotel, 120 Huntington Avenue, Boston. Please come and listen to Talmage Boston talk about "What Lawyers Can Learn from Abraham Lincoln About Communication." The Brief-Writing and Book Awards will be given during the luncheon. Invitations were sent via e-mail. You may confirm your attendance by e-mailing mcalpinb@cooley.edu or calling 517.371.5140, ext. 4402. RSVP's are kindly asked by August 4.

Members will also vote on proposed changes to the Bylaws and Constitution. Please click here to view the proposed changes to the Bylaws and click here to view the proposed changes to the Constitution.

 

news

2013-2014 Scribes Book-Award Competition
The 2014 Scribes Book-Award winner is 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. Margaret Radin has provided remarks for her award but is unable to attend the luncheon. Evan Mandery will be present at the luncheon and will be available for book-signing. The Book and Brief Awards will be presented at the Scribes Annual Meeting, held during the American Bar Association Meeting in Boston, on August 8, 2014. 

2013-2014 Scribes Law-Review Award
Scribes is pleased to announce Nicholas S. Brod as the 2013-2014 Law-Review Award winner. Nicholas is a 3L student at Duke University School of Law. His Note Rethinking a Reinvigorated Right to Assemble can be read by clicking here. He will receive his award at the 2014 National Conference of Law Reviews dinner (NCLR) hosted by Southwestern School of Law (March 26-29, 2014); with the NCLR (Scribes) dinner on March 27th

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.

2013-2014 Scribes Brief-Writing-Award Competition
The first-place winners of the 2013-2014 Brief-Writing-Award Competition are Garret Bowman, Alyssa Dechow, and Del Guile from Case Western Reserve University School of Law. Second-place winners are Ryan Cantu, Christian Dewhurst, and Kelsey Hope from South Texas College of Law.  And the third-place winners are 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 will be recognized at the 2014 Scribes Annual Meeting in Boston on August 8, 2014. Plaques will be awarded to the first-place authors and their school; certificates will be presented to the second- and third-place winners.