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).


 Scribes 2015 Awards Luncheon

August 1, 2015


The 2015 Awards Luncheon will be held August 1 from noon - 2:00 p.m. at the Swissotel, 43rd Floor, Edelweiss I Room, 323 East Upper Wacker Drive, Chicago. We hope all legal-writing fans who are attending the ABA Annual Meeting will stop by. RSVP's may be directed to scribeslegalwriters@gmail.com.
Bryan Garner will give the keynote address, and he'll also present the Scribes Lifetime-Achievement Award to Lord Woolf. Many consider Lord Woolf to be the most influential British judge in decades -- author of the Woolf Reforms, which has greatly simplified legal vocabulary in the U.K. We will also have the presentation of our Brief and Book Awards.


Save the Date:

Scribes will be holding a CLE on legal writing in Chicago on April 15, 2016. Please continue to check with us for further details.

2014-2015 Scribes Book-Award Competition

Congratulations to the winner of the 2014-2015 Annual Book Award. The Birth of American Law: An Italian Philosopher and the American Revolution written by John D. Bessler has taken first place in this year's competition. Mr. Bessler will accept his award in person at the Awards Luncheon in Chicago,

August 1. There were three Honorable Mentions this year. You can read more by clicking here.

2014-2015 Scribes Law-Review Award

Congratulations to Alexander J. Kasner from Stanford Law School for his winning Note titled National Security Leaks and Constitutional Duty. His Note was selected among 51 submissions this year. Mr. Kasner and the editor in chief of the Stanford Law Review will accept their awards at the 2015 National Conference of Law Review (NCLR) dinner on March 12. The 2015 NCLR will be held at the University of Louisville, Brandeis School of Law

2014-2015 Scribes Brief-Writing-Award Competition

Congratulations to Seton Hall University School of Law students Camille Rosca and Andrew Obergfell as the first-place winners for Best Brief from the American Bar Association National Appellate Advocacy Moot Court Competition. Ms. Rosca and Mr. Obergfell will accept their award during the Awards Luncheon in Chicago on August 1. Please click here to read their brief. Fordham University School of Law students Emily Vance and Molly Webster placed second for their brief in the Burton D. Wechsler First Amendment Moot Court Competition. And UC Hastings College of the Law students Benjamin Hand, Nicholas Ma, and Mona Razana placed third
 for their brief in the Robert F. Wagner Labor & Employment Law Moot Court Competition. Congratulations to all the students, and thank you to all for your submissions. Letters will be sent in the fall for the 2016 competition.