We seek to create an interest in writing about the law and to promote a clear, succinct, and forceful
style in legal writing.
SCRIBES MEMBERS IN THE NEWS
"Using plain language can save businesses and government agencies a ton of money."
—Joseph Kimble, author of Writing for Dollars, Writing to Please.
Scribes Student Legal Writing Society at Texas Tech
2019 CLE in Washington D.C.
Join us for our 2019 CLE on Friday, April 12 in Washington D.C. at the Law Library of Congress. Find the full program here.
The event will feature an overview of the Law Library by Barbara Bavis, a roundtable discussion with former solicitors general and members of the Supreme Court bar, and remarks from Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, who is the recipient of this year’s Scribes Lifetime Achievement Award. We will also present the winners of this year’s Scribes Brief Award. The event is scheduled from 2:00 to 5:00 p.m.
Register here, and please contact Executive Director Philip Johnson at with any questions.
Scribes at LWI
Scribes Co-Sponsored the Second Annual CLE in the City in Conjunction with the ABA on
Chicago law firms and top area law schools opened their doors for a CLE sessions in 8 tracks, including legal writing & persuasion, cybersecurity, family law, privacy & security, and more.
Participants earned up to 3.0 credits including 3.0 ethics credits in 60 minute jurisdictions or 3.6 credits including 3.6 ethics credits in 50 minute jurisdictions. Tickets were $35 per session.
Contact with any questions.
Scribes 2018 CLE, Well Written, at John Marshall Law School
We held our annual CLE on April 13. We announced a number of awards and had some great sessions. Find materials as they become available here, and be on the lookout for photos and more information in the coming weeks.
Michigan State Bar Awards Joseph Kimble the Legacy Award
The State Bar announced Joe Kimble is the recipient of the 2015 John W. Reed Lawyer Legacy Award. For those unfamiliar with the award, it "is presented periodically to an educator from a Michigan law school whose influence on lawyers has elevated the quality of legal practice in our state."
Brief Award Nominations Are Closed
Thanks to the many of you who nominated briefs for the 2020 award. The nominees will go through two rounds of screening, and the winner will be recognized at our 2020 CLE in Chicago.
If you have any questions, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Scribes Welcomes a New Student Chapter
We are pleased to announce that students at WMU Cooley Law School started a Scribes student chapter in spring 2019 under the sponsorship of Professor Mark Cooney.
WMU Cooley joins the John Marshall Law School and Texas Tech University School of Law as the third school with a Scribes student chapter. These groups encourage strong legal writing in law school work and assist students with publishing their work before they graduate.
2019 Award Winners
We're pleased to announce the winners of our 2019 Brief, Law Review, and Book Award.
First place in the Brief Award went to Caitlin Messinger and Keriann Smith of Florida State University College of Law.
Joe DeMott of Stanford Law School won our Law-Review Awardfor his note, Rethinking Ashe v. Swenson from an Orginialist Perspective.
The winner of our Book Award is We the Corporations by Adam Winkler.
For runners up and previous winners, please see the respective award pages. Congratulations to all of our winners!
Fall 2018 Scrivener Now Available
The Fall 2018 issue of The Scrivener, which covers updates to the Scribes constitution is now available here.
Look for the winter 2019 issue, which will cover various Scribes awards and events, soon.
Volume 17 of the Scribes Journal of Legal Writing Released
We recently released volume 17, which features a tribute to the late Justice Scalia; articles on typographic legibility, Supreme Court splits on writing style, and ironic instructions for writing a bad contract; and more.
Judge Richard Posner Cites Volume 16 in New Book
In his recently released book, Divergent Paths: The Academy and The Judiciary, Judge Richard Posner cited Joe Kimble's article from the latest edition of the Scribes Journal of Legal Writing. Posner cited Kimble's article favorably when discussing statutory interpretation on page 101, note 31: see Joseph Kimble, "The Doctrine of the Last Antecedent, the Example in Barnhart, Why Both Are Weak, and How Textualism Postures," 16 Scribes Journal of Legal Writing 5 (2014-2015).
Volume 16 Cited in Major 5th Circuit Opinion on Immigration
In United States v. Texas, when discussing the use of the term "illegal alien," the court cited the following:
“[I]legal alien has going for it both history and well-documented, generally accepted use.” Matthew Salzwedel, The Lawyer’s Struggle to Write, 16 SCRIBES JOURNAL OF LEGAL WRITING 69, 76 (2015).
Summer 2018 Edition of The Scrivener Is Now Available
Click here to read the latest issue of our e-newsletter, The Scrivener.