Welcome to the Columbia Law School Writing Center!
The CLS Writing Center team consists of staff Writing Specialists, who are attorneys, and trained upper-year law students who serve as Writing Center Fellows.
Specialists and Fellows work directly with students in a number of ways. Through one-on-one consultations, Specialists and Fellows review specific pieces of legal writing and work with students to help them become better legal writers and the best possible editors of their own work. Specialists and Fellows also develop legal writing resources, lead workshops that address a broad range of legal writing topics, and answer questions about the legal writing process.
For Summer 2022, Writing Specialists are available for consultations with students and ’22 graduates regarding legal writing samples and other pieces of legal writing. Specialists will review specific pieces of legal writing, highlight common issues regarding structure, analysis, and clarity, then work with students to help them understand and address those issues.
Please note: Specialists and Fellows are not available to edit or proofread pieces of legal writing. They will not provide feedback on substantive legal issues, nor review without consultation.
To make an appointment, please use the link provided. You may also email Writing Specialist Misti Duvall directly at [email protected] if you would like to meet with her.
Fall 2022 events will be posted at the beginning of the semester.
Please see the CLS Writing Center resource page for handouts, presentations, and workshop recordings covering a broad range of legal writing issues.
Misti Duvall is a Writing Specialist at the CLS Writing Center, where she provides one-on-one and small group instruction to help students develop their legal writing skills. She has experience in domestic and international law and policy, and spent 10 years practicing environmental law with non-profit organizations in New York, Washington, DC, and Southeast Asia. She then shifted her focus from legal practice to writing and teaching, including several years working with prospective law students.
Misti received her JD from Columbia Law School, and was an Articles Editor for the Columbia Journal of Environmental Law and Teaching Assistant in the Environmental Law Clinic. She also holds an MFA in Creative Writing from City College of New York and a BA from the University of Tennessee.
The Columbia Law School Writing Center is located in William and June Warren Hall, Room 201. To send a general question to the center, please email us at [email protected].
1. Who can use the Columbia Law School Writing Center?
For Summer 2022, Writing Specialists are available for consultations with students and ’22 graduates regarding legal writing samples and other pieces of legal writing.
2. Where is the CLS Writing Center located?
The center is located in William and June Warren Hall, Room 201.
3. When is the center open, and how do I schedule an appointment?
Please see the Make an Appointment section below for more information.
4. With whom will I meet?
The CLS Writing Center is staffed by Writing Specialists, who are attorneys, and upper-year student Writing Center Fellows. All Fellows have demonstrated outstanding writing ability, as well as a desire to help students understand the value of strong legal writing.
5. What should I do to prepare for an appointment?
If you are coming to the center to discuss a specific piece of writing, please share the piece as directed at least 24-48 hours prior to your appointment.
You are also welcome to make an appointment to discuss an area of legal writing more generally. In this situation, please make sure to explain your area of interest in the "notes" section of your sign-up form.
6. What kind of feedback will I receive?
Specialists and Fellows will not line edit or rewrite your work for you. They will not provide feedback on substantive legal issues, nor review without consultation. Rather, Specialists and Fellows will review your work for common problems or issues related to organization, argument structure, grammar, and style. They then work to help you understand these issues so that you can become a stronger editor of your own work.