This inaugural edition of the Short & Happy Guide to Legal Writing provides a full concept of the history and practice of legal writing in the briefest of formats. The author recounts the theory of written laws from our British roots to the present American legal court system. The guide then transitions into teaching the framework and construction of written legal communication, explaining the underlying theory of citation and how to read precedent opinions. Complete with samples of case briefing, a useful paradigm for organizing predictive and persuasive analyses, complete interoffice and e-memos, annotated examples of real appellate briefs, and more, this book packs a big punch in a small footprint.

Imprint: West Academic Publishing
Series: Short & Happy Guides
Publication Date: 01/28/2019

Deborah L. Borman, Arkansas - Little Rock


This title is available in our CasebookPlus format. CasebookPlus provides support beyond your classroom lectures and materials by offering additional digital resources to you and your students. Anchored by faculty-authored formative self-assessments keyed to our most popular casebooks, CasebookPlus allows students to test their understanding of core concepts as they are learning them in class – on their own, outside of the classroom, with no extra work on your part. CasebookPlus combines three important elements:

  • A new print or digital casebook
  • Access to a downloadable eBook with the ability to highlight and add notes
  • 12-month access to a digital Learning Library complete with:
Multiple-choice self-assessment questions, including:
  • Chapter questions keyed to the casebook
  • Black Letter Law questions (available in select subjects)
  • Subject area review questions for end of semester use
Essay and short answer questions with sample answers and expert commentary, in 1L and select upper-level subjects

Leading digital study aids, an outline starter, and audio lectures in select subjects

Students can still utilize CasebookPlus digital resources if they’ve purchased a used book or are renting their text by purchasing the Learning Library at

With CasebookPlus, you can customize your students’ learning experience and monitor their performance. The quiz editor allows you to create your own custom quiz set, suppress specific quiz questions or quiz sets, and time-release quiz questions. Additionally, the flexible, customized reporting capability helps you evaluate your students’ understanding of the material and can also help your school demonstrate compliance with the new ABA Assessment and Learning Outcomes standards.

Learn more about this series.

“Simplifying and streamlining the first-year legal writing curriculum into a short book is no easy task, and Professor Borman has done an impressive job. Her passion and love for teaching legal writing shine through. Her humor, apparent. These qualities engage the reader through what is often described as “awful or terrible” topics. (Fortunately, we legal writing professors know otherwise!). Professor Borman’s book should be on every legal writing and academic success professional’s bookshelf, not only for the laughs but to share with those who might benefit from a short and happy approach to legal writing.”
Read full review at Legal Writing Journal, March 15, 2020