Appellate Advocacy Blog

Editor: Tessa L. Dysart
The University of Arizona
James E. Rogers College of Law

Tuesday, February 4, 2020

The Appellate Advocate's Library

             A recent post to the Legal Writing Professors’ Listserv asked what “how-to” practice books new lawyers should have on their bookshelves. That question prompted me to wonder what books appellate advocates should have in their library. Here, in no particular order, is my list.

  • Tessa L. Dysart, Leslie H. Southwick, & Ruggero J. Aldisert, Winning on Appeal: Better Briefs and Oral Argument (3d ed. 2017)
  • Bryan A. Garner, Garner’s Modern English Usage (4th ed. 2016)
  • Bryan A. Garner, Legal Writing in Plain English (2d ed. 2013)
  • Black’s Law Dictionary (10th ed.)
  • Richard C. Wydick, Plain English for Lawyers (5th ed. 2019)
  • Bryan A. Garner, The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style (4th ed. 2019)
  • Ross Guberman, Point Made (2d ed. 2014)
  • Alan L. Dworsky, The Little Book on Oral Argument (2d ed. 2018)
  • Patricia T. O’Connor, Woe is I: The Grammarphobe’s Guide to Better English in Plain English (3d ed. 2009)
  • Benjamin Dreyer, Dreyer’s English: An Utterly Correct Guide to Clarity and Style (2019)
  • Antonin Scalia & Bryan A. Garner, Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges (2008)
  • Mary Beth Beazley, A Practical Guide to Appellate Advocacy (5th ed. 2020)
  • David C. Frederick, Supreme Court and Appellate Advocacy (3d 3d. 2019)
  • Bryan A. Garner, The Winning Brief: 100 Tips for Persuasive Briefing in Trial and Appellate Courts (3d ed. 2014)
  • Matthew Butterick, Typography for Lawyers (2d ed. 2018) (also available for free online at
  • Verlyn Klinkenborg, Several Short Sentences About Writing (2012)
  • Colleen M. Berger, ALWD Guide to Legal Citation (6th ed. 2017)
  • Susan Bell, The Artful Edit: On the Practice of Editing Yourself (2008)

What would you add?

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Thanks for this list! I also like Advanced Appellate Advocacy by Susan E. Provenzano, et al., along with its online companion.

Posted by: Halle Hara | Feb 4, 2020 4:15:02 PM

Great list! I would add Steven Pinker - A Sense of Style and Williams & Bizup - Style: Lessons in Clarity and Grace. Not legal writing books, but a great supplement for writing.

Posted by: kiger | Feb 5, 2020 7:06:25 AM

Ross Guberman, Point Taken: How to Write Like the World's Best Judges (1st ed. 2015)

Posted by: Ricky Dessen | Feb 5, 2020 7:23:22 AM

For those in North Carolina, this recent treatise is a must-have -- Elizabeth B. Scherer & Matthew N. Leerberg, North Carolina Appellate Practice and Procedure (2019).

Posted by: Jess Mekeel | Feb 5, 2020 8:30:24 AM

Great list (but I am biased!)

Posted by: Tessa | Feb 5, 2020 10:01:33 AM

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