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Off and Running: A Practical Guide to Legal Research, Analysis, and Writing

  • Angela C. Arey
  • Nancy A. Wanderer
Series / Aspen Coursebook Series
Teaching Materials
Off and Running is a unique text for the first semester of the 1L legal writing and research course, designed to guide students through their development of the essential skills needed to practice law. Using a single, classroom-tested fact pattern, the authors demonstrate in concrete steps how a first-year associate might approach a legal problem. Students practice these steps and skills on other fact patterns, as they read about this fictional associate.

Using this fresh approach and a plain-English writing style, the authors introduce essential concepts and skills related to objective legal writing and legal research, with a particular emphasis on the professional and ethical representation of clients. Students learn how to think like a lawyer.


  • Fully integrated coursebook for first semester of 1L LRW course. Integrates research, analysis, and writing.
  • Emphasis on how skills relate to the practice of law, with focus on both litigation and transactional applications.
  • Professionalism and ethics discussions, including and#34;ethics alertand#34; boxes, are integrated throughout the text.
  • Presents one classroom-tested fact pattern to demonstrate how to i.d. the issues in the fact pattern, use legal resources to research those issues, and use the research results to write documents such as an objective memorandum and a client letter.
  • Professors may assign different fact patterns, set in other jurisdictions, to have students demonstrate their skills. They may also assign a closed-universe problem during the early weeks of the semester.
  • Other chapters cover an overview of the U.S. legal system, the basics of grammar, punctuation and style; how to use e-mail effectively; and incorporating LW principles into litigation and transactional documents.
  • Book takes a streamlined approach, focusing on the essentials and using plain English, in order to remain accessible to students

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