The Second Draft

About The Second Draft:

The Second Draft is a publication of the Legal Writing Institute (“LWI”) published online biannually. We primarily publish essays, book reviews, and short, scholarly articles on a vast array of topics. The Second Draft aims to provide an environment for sharing ideas and insights about teaching legal research and writing. We welcome high-quality submissions from both new and established legal writing scholars, and each issue contains one column entirely devoted to the observations of a writing specialist. The Second Draft is the perfect place to publish your first or fiftieth article.

Keeping us current with your contact information for our membership list will help us deliver the newsletter to the right address.  If you need to update your contact information, click here.  If you are not a member of LWI and would like to join, please visit our membership information page

The Second Draft Call for Submissions - Fall 2017 Issue

We are excited to announce the theme of the Fall 2017 issue: Rethinking Research. Legal research is a crucial legal skill for new attorneys, and teaching it plays a central role in many legal writing programs. At the same time, there are debates about who should take responsibility for teaching this valuable skill and about how best to teach legal research to a generation of students who have grown up in the Google era. Thus, for this issue of The Second Draft, we invite scholarly submissions discussing issues such as:

• The role of law librarians and other professors in teaching legal research;

• The continued relevance of teaching students to use print-based sources;

• Your favorite research assignment or exercise;

• Innovative ideas for advanced legal research courses;

• Strategies for locating and using non-legal sources; and

• Ways to successfully integrate legal research and writing.

This list is merely illustrative, and we welcome essays and articles on all manner of topics that pertain to teaching legal research. Please submit your article in Word via email by March 14, 2017 to

We envision articles ranging in length from 500 to 3,000 words but are open to considering articles of any length. To help us keep track of submissions, please use the following convention for the subject line of your email: Name, Article Submission, and Issue (e.g., “Jane Doe, Article Submission, Fall 2017 Issue”).

Please contact the Editorial Board via email at if you have any questions or concerns. We look forward to reviewing your submissions.


Fall 2016 Issue of The Second Draft

The Fall 2016 Issue of The Second Draft is now available for download:

Click HERE for the Fall 2016 Issue.  This version should work well both for printing and for viewing on mobile devices.


The Second Draft Editorial Board:

Joe Fore 

Iselin Gambert 

Sherri Keene

Diane Kraft

Chantal Marie Morton

Abigail Perdue

Tammy Pettinato

Steven Schultz


Past Issues of The Second Draft issues in PDF* format

(* If you do not already have Adobe Acrobat Reader, you may download it here.) 

Volume 29, No. 1 Spring 2016: The Role of Writing Centers and Writing Specialists

Volume 28, No. 2 Fall 2015: Once Upon a Time: The Influence of Narrative in Legal Writing.

Volume 28, No.1 Spring 2015: Legal Writing: A Foundation for Learning in Law School

Volume 27, No. 2 Summer 2014: Legal Writing Speaks Out on ABA Accreditation Standards

Volume 27, No. 2 Fall 2013/Winter 2014: Legal Research & Writing Faculty At The Forefront of Best Practices and Legal Education Reform

Volume 27, No. 1 Summer 2013: Scholarship 

Volume 26, No. 1 Fall 2012: Teaching Ethics

Volume 25, No. 2 Fall 2011: Diversity

Volume 25, No. 1 Spring 2011: Tactical Teaching

Volume 24, No. 3 Fall 2010: Assessment

Volume 24, No. 2 Spring 2010: Happy Anniversary LWI

Volume 24, No. 1 Fall 2009: Teaching Implicit Reasoning

Volume 23, No. 2 Spring 2009:  Teaching Through Technology

Volume 23, No. 1 Fall 2008:  Teaching Statutory Analysis

Volume 22, No. 2 Spring 2008: Teaching to Different Learning Styles

Volume 22, No. 1 August 2007: Providing Effective Feedback

Volume 21, No. 2 December 2006: From Law Student to Lawyer

Volume 21, No. 1 August 2006:2006 LWI Conference

Volume 20, No. 2 December 2005: Teaching Difficult Concepts

Volume 20, No. 1 August 2005: My Best Class. (Please note that this edition of The Second Draft is in publishing layout format.)

Volume 19, No. 2: No issue published.

Volume 19, No. 1 December 2004: The 2004 LWI Conference.

Volume 18, No. 2 June 2004: What keeps us going: professional development and keeping up morale.

Volume 18, No. 1 December 2003: Who are our students?

Volume 17, No. 2 July 2003: What are we teaching?

Volume 17, No. 1 December 2002: The LWI conference/ informational issue.

Volume 16, No. 2 May 2002: A third semester of legal writing.

Volume 16, No. 1 December 2001: Teaching students to persuade.

Volume 15, No. 2 June 2001: Collaboration and cooperation in the legal writing classroom.

Volume 15, No. 1 January 2001: The LWI conference; President’s address on ABA accreditation standards and their effects on the teaching of legal writing and research.

Volume 14, No. 2 May 2000: “How do I teach my students the legal analysis that is the foundation of any piece of legal writing?”

Volume 14, No. 1 November 1999: Perspectives on and approaches to responding to student writing.

Volume 13, No. 2 May 1999: Essays by members of the Institute on the uses of technology in connection with legal writing courses.

Volume 13, No. 1 November 1998: Report on the work of the Institute at and after its 1998 conference in Ann Arbor.

Volume 12, No. 2 May 1998: No issue published.

Volume 12, No. 1 November 1997: Essays on techniques for teaching legal writing.

Volume 11, No. 2 May 1997: Forum on goals for first-year legal research and writing programs.

Volume 11, No. 1 November 1996: Reports from the Chair of the Board of Directors and committees of the institute.

Volume 10, No. 2 May 1996: Informational Issue: Call for submissions of summaries of upcoming conferences.

Volume 10, No. 1 November 1995: Responses to Vol. 9, No. 2: Is IRAC a helpful tool?

Volume 9, No. 2 May 1995: Is IRAC a helpful tool for teaching analysis?

Volume 9, No. 1 November 1994: The 1994 Conference of the Legal Writing Institute at Chicago-Kent College of Law: A summary of expositions and presentations.