This is not a research paper. Rather, you need only answer the questions below with
respect to your chosen law journal article. Turn it in will flag the use of external sources
and your grade will be adversely affected.
Answer the Following 3 Questions:
Question 1: Approximately 1 page
1. Summarize the legal argument made in the paper. What is the main point of the Article?
What evidence does the author use to support the main point of the Article? What are the
key assumptions? How does this article appear to fit within a larger academic literature?
What is the basic structure of the argument? The goal here is to break down the
argument to its essential core elements (i.e., how would you summarize what the author is
trying to accomplish in a page or two?).
Question 2: Approximately 1 page
2. What criticism can you make of the argument? Are the assumptions unrealistic? Has the
author made assumptions about human nature that strike you as incorrect? Is there a hole
in the logic? Is all the discussion relevant to the main point that author is attempting to
make? To the extent that the paper argues for a certain tradeoff of costs and benefits,
would you personally weigh things differently? In the end, does the author make a point
that is, in fact, novel or interesting? The idea here is to think of yourself as a litigator
who has been paid a considerable sum to crush the argument presented in this law journal
article. How would you go about dismantling what the author is trying to do in the
paper? Do not be afraid to be critical here.
Question 3: Approximately 1 page
3. What is the next paper that you would write after having read your chosen law journal
article? Specifically, if you concluded that the paper gets it wrong, what paper would
you write instead. How would your paper get it right? Or, alternatively, if you
concluded that your chosen law journal article did, indeed, have something worthwhile to
say, how would you extend this paper? Can the same point be applied to other areas of
the law or different fact patterns? Can the author’s main point itself be fleshed out in
some “interesting” way? The idea here is not to write any of these suggested papers, of
course. Instead, the idea here is simply to pitch a possible future project based on your
law journal article in a paragraph or two. Just give me a very general sense of what this
paper might look like. Unlike other assessments in this class, answering this question
requires you to think creatively and imaginatively about the material you carefully
analyzed to identify an “interesting” issue worthy of further exploration.
How to Choose a Law Journal Article?
Choosing a Topic
I would recommend that you search for a law review article that concerns a legal issue
related to a field of employment in which you could imagine yourself someday working.
So, for example, if you are interested in working in finance, then you might consider
writing about insider trading or corporate governance. If you are interested in working in
marketing, then you might consider writing about trademarks. If you are interested in
the insurance industry, then torts may be an attractive area to explore further. One of
the meta-purposes of this legal research assignment is to push you to think carefully
about where all this hard work is taking you.
You can find a legal issue in a local or national newspaper or magazine, on a blog, or
on Google Scholar. The KnowNow Blog is a particularly helpful resource and is
The Blog identifies news events and categorizes these events by Business Law Topic.
You can scroll down and look for a topic of interest (on the right-hand side of the
webpage), click the topic, and then pick a news item that you believe highlights an
interesting legal issue.
Finding a Law Journal
After you have selected an interesting legal issue based on a general topic, the next
step is to find a law journal article about this legal issue.
Heinonline is an excellent database that contains practically all published law journals.