Legal Argumentation: Fall 2023 draft OER text

(Updated Aug 8 with the current reference version and link to change long.)

In spring 2023, I signed a contract with the Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Instruction (CALI) to manage the editing of an open educational resource (OER) textbook for legal writing. It will be the first general legal-writing text from CALI’s eLangdell press. OER texts are available free of charge and can be remixed and reused under a Creative Commons license. Students who want a print copy will be able to order one, basically at cost, from CALI, but the text is most powerful in its electronic form, thanks to active linking among sections.

I have recruited an excellent crew of seven other authors and editors to help with the text. I’ve told the story about the initial development of this text in previous posts on this blog (here and here).

I expect the completed text to be available in May 2024. Folks potentially interested in it may wish to review this version (or one of the other intermediate versions I will likely post before the final) to see whether they wish to adopt it in their courses in 2024-25.

Available here is the current reference version, which my 1L students are required to use for the fall 2023 semester. It’s important to understand a few things about this version:

  • There is no cover (unlike the previous versions) because we are still working on the cover.
  • Many chapters are not completed. Some of these have been written but are just not included in the reference copy of the manuscript yet. Others remain to be drafted.
  • Each chapter has a “chapter status” section at its end, indicating the status and deadlines for the chapter.
  • There are unsightly line numbers on all the pages. They are here to permit students and editors refer to specific lines of text that may need to be edited.

You can see a change log showing what’s different between this and previous versions. If you review this version (or any other) of this text and have comments about how it could be approved, please add them as comments on this blog post. (Refer to page and line numbers of this reference version if you have very specific comments.)

Legal Argumentation manuscript ref copy Aug 8

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