The Second Draft

The Second Draft is a twice-a-year online publication. Its goal is to provide an environment for sharing ideas and insights about teaching legal research and writing. The Second Draft publishes essays, book reviews, and shorter articles of interest to legal writing professionals.

Each issue of The Second Draft collects essays written around a central theme that relates to some question or challenge facing those who teach legal writing and research.  Past themes have included methodologies for teaching analysis in the classroom, different approaches to commenting on students' writing, and incorporating technology into the legal writing and research classroom.

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The Second Draft Call for Submissions - Fall 2017 Issue

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.

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.