Tips on the Note Writing Process

If you’re on a journal while in law school, chances are very high that you will be required to write a Note. It’s essentially a lengthy research paper that either discusses a novel legal issue, or gives a novel perspective on a legal issue that has already been written about. The third and final draft of my note is due on Monday at midnight, so I thought now would be a good time to give a few tips that have helped me throughout this process:

  1. Write about a topic that is interesting to you. I was told this early on by many people, and it holds true. My third draft is about 50 pages now, and if I weren’t writing about something that I truly find interesting and fun to research and write about, the process would have been 100 times more stressful. When you pick a topic that speaks to you on some level, it gives you the motivation that you need when undertaking such a big project.
  2. Reach out to a Faculty Advisor early. Luckily for me, I solidified my first choice for a faculty advisor over the summer before even truly digging into my research. I had a professor during 1L who I knew was involved in the areas that I was seeking to write about, and it worked out well. This is important to keep in mind generally because a lot of professors tend to get booked up pretty early.
  3. Don’t leave your work for the last minute. For my journal, we had three major deadlines – and this goes without saying, but for a big project like this that involves research, writing, and footnoting, it’s never wise to leave your work for the last minute. I tried my best to approach deadlines wisely by doing work in advance and not the weekend before a due date. Obviously things come up and priorities always shift throughout the semester, but it’s definitely best to tackle each deadline in advance. You’ll only have to make up for last-minute work in later drafts.

I hope that these tips are helpful! For me, I’ve truly found the note writing process to be enjoyable and gratifying. Maybe I’m biased, but my choosing a topic incorporates a lot of my interests, coupled with my love of reading and writing, has made all the difference.

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