var googletag = googletag || {}; googletag.cmd = googletag.cmd || []; googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.pubads().disableInitialLoad(); });
device = device.default;
//this function refreshes [adhesion] ad slot every 60 second and makes prebid bid on it every 60 seconds // Set timer to refresh slot every 60 seconds function setIntervalMobile() { if (! return if (adhesion) setInterval(function(){ googletag.pubads().refresh([adhesion]); }, 60000); } if(device.desktop()) { googletag.cmd.push(function() { leaderboard_top = googletag.defineSlot('/22018898626/LC_Article_detail_page', [728, 90], 'div-gpt-ad-1591620860846-0').setTargeting('pos', ['1']).setTargeting('div_id', ['leaderboard_top']).addService(googletag.pubads()); googletag.pubads().collapseEmptyDivs(); googletag.enableServices(); }); } else if(device.tablet()) { googletag.cmd.push(function() { leaderboard_top = googletag.defineSlot('/22018898626/LC_Article_detail_page', [320, 50], 'div-gpt-ad-1591620860846-0').setTargeting('pos', ['1']).setTargeting('div_id', ['leaderboard_top']).addService(googletag.pubads()); googletag.pubads().collapseEmptyDivs(); googletag.enableServices(); }); } else if( { googletag.cmd.push(function() { leaderboard_top = googletag.defineSlot('/22018898626/LC_Article_detail_page', [320, 50], 'div-gpt-ad-1591620860846-0').setTargeting('pos', ['1']).setTargeting('div_id', ['leaderboard_top']).addService(googletag.pubads()); googletag.pubads().collapseEmptyDivs(); googletag.enableServices(); }); } googletag.cmd.push(function() { // Enable lazy loading with... googletag.pubads().enableLazyLoad({ // Fetch slots within 5 viewports. // fetchMarginPercent: 500, fetchMarginPercent: 100, // Render slots within 2 viewports. // renderMarginPercent: 200, renderMarginPercent: 100, // Double the above values on mobile, where viewports are smaller // and users tend to scroll faster. mobileScaling: 2.0 }); });
 Upload Your Resume   Employers / Post Jobs 

Tips for Writing a Strong Appellate Brief for the First Time

published July 03, 2012

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
Published By
( 275 votes, average: 4.5 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
Most law students need to draft appellate briefs as part of their moot court in law school and for other programs such as clinics. Knowing the basics of an appellate brief and learning how to draft one, helps enormously to focus one's mind on the practice of law and learn how to sort between what is relevant and what is irrelevant. This article is about how to write a brief that is both persuasive and logical.
Law Student Writing Appellate Briefs

Click Here to Find Law Student Jobs on LawCrossing

Creating an appellate brief for the first time

When you sit down for the first time to write an appellate brief, it is normal to feel lost. For the brief to be persuasive, the points of fact and law need to be credible. Next, the facts need to be accurate. Then the writing needs to be easily understood, and last of all, the sequence of presenting the facts should be one that supports your arguments, and not simply the chronology of events. If data and citations are accurate and logical, the judge will be more willing to side with your position. Credibility is the key, and establishing credibility requires thorough research and proper presentation.

Remember that writing a brief is not a linear process. When you write a brief, you do not need to order your paragraphs strictly according to the chronology of events. However, you should write paragraphs according to the sequence in which you need facts to be established and arguments to be presented.

Don't lose track of your objectives during legal research

When you start working on a draft, additional questions of facts and law shall arise, and each issue needs to be researched thoroughly. While drafting first briefs, it is easy to get enchanted by questions of law and drift off into research that is of little relevance to your work at hand. So, you must be careful to confine your primary research to essentials.

The best lawyers say that you actually start writing a brief only when you have finished writing it. This is invaluable advice because the study of law has a way of dragging you into the depths where you lose track of time, and fail to produce pleadings that meet the filing deadlines. . It is always better to craft a article, as if you were going to submit it to a law review journal for publication. Once the article is completed, you can start on creating your brief. This way, you would find it easier to remain focused on completing the task.

Identify the issues, and prioritize their presentation

It is not only important to properly identify the issues and questions of law, but for an appellant it is extremely important to identify those issues which are backed by precedents and statutes and easy to establish. Courts require proof, and any error of the trial judge you try to point out should not be hypothetical but should be substantiated by records. When writing an appellate brief, fully focus on the strongest arguments for reversal, and present these arguments with greater focus than other minor issues.

Click Here to Find Summer Associate Jobs on LawCrossing

If you are responding to an appeal, then you should respond specifically to each issue that has been raised by the other side.

Identify the standards of review for each important issue

In appellate cases, while the issues lay outside the Judge's purview, the standards of review define how the game is going to be played. You need to identify the proper standards of review for each issue raised in the brief and cite supportive precedent and seminal cases. You also need to understand the implications of each case that is cited, and how it can be used to support or distinguish arguments.

Creating the Table of Contents

The Table of Contents (“TOC”) is your lead mariner to take you sailing through uncharted waters. Prepare the TOC carefully, and use it to define how your arguments and points fit together. Facts must always be presented in the sequence of their occurrence, but arguments are presented according to the needs required by the issues at hand.

Do not generalize

Generalizations, universal categorizations, and the use of assumptions are to be avoided as much as possible. Write the brief for the judge who will focus on the law not emotional appeals.

Last, but not least, revise, edit, and proofread multiple times before submitting the finished product.

Click Here to View the 2015 LawCrossing Salary Survey of Lawyer Salaries in the Best Law Firms

Alternative Summary

Harrison is the founder of BCG Attorney Search and several companies in the legal employment space that collectively gets thousands of attorneys jobs each year. Harrison’s writings about attorney careers and placement attract millions of reads each year. Harrison is widely considered the most successful recruiter in the United States and personally places multiple attorneys most weeks. His articles on legal search and placement are read by attorneys, law students and others millions of times per year.

More about Harrison

About LawCrossing

LawCrossing has received tens of thousands of attorneys jobs and has been the leading legal job board in the United States for almost two decades. LawCrossing helps attorneys dramatically improve their careers by locating every legal job opening in the market. Unlike other job sites, LawCrossing consolidates every job in the legal market and posts jobs regardless of whether or not an employer is paying. LawCrossing takes your legal career seriously and understands the legal profession. For more information, please visit

published July 03, 2012

By CEO and Founder - BCG Attorney Search left
( 275 votes, average: 4.5 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.