The Practice Tips Series

The Practice Tips Series is an online resource of articles for new lawyers and covers both substantive and practical aspects of legal practice.

The Practice Tips are specifically designed for the new lawyer or a more experienced lawyer delving into a new area of law. The Practice Tips articles help introduce an overview of a particular area of law in an easy-to-read format. These articles are not meant to be scholarly publications or law review articles. These articles may figuratively constitute the intersection of Cliff Notes and Reader’s Digest with a professional tone.

Submitting an Article for Consideration

Each article should be concise and limited to approximately 500 to 700 words. The VSB YLC prefers articles with short sentences and paragraphs, the use of active voice, bullet points, catchy quotes, and creative examples. In general, the Practice Tips Series follows the Chicago Manual of Style, 16th edition; the Bluebook, 20th edition; and the Oxford English Dictionary.

Contact James “Rob” Elliott ( if you have questions or are interested in submitting an article for consideration.


Litigation Tips – Quick Tips for Litigators

o   The Corroborative Approach to Investigation

o   New Client Orientation: Building Trust with Your Automobile-Accident Client

o   The Lawyer’s Guide to Drafting a Satisfactory Answer; or Another Article About Applicable Advice for Attorneys to Adequately Author an Appropriate and Acceptable Answer in All Areas

o   Three Tips for Drafting a Dispute Resolution Clause

o   Winning Witness Preparation

o   Ethical Considerations at the Beginning of a New Civil Matter

o   Briefing Your First Appeal Before a U.S. Court of Appeals

o   Practice Pointers for Litigating Title IX Cases

o   Escape the Three Biggest Mistakes of Oral Argument

o   “Reasonably Calculated”: Confusion over the Scope of Discovery

Substantive Tips – Quick Surveys of Substantive Topics

o   Dealing with Debt: The Basics of Debt Collection

o   Your First Section 1983 Action

o   The Great Escape

o   Chapter 11 Plan Basics

o   Discovering FOIA

Practical Tips – Quick Practice Hacks for Everyone

o   How to Deal with an Emotional Client

o   How to Develop Your Brand and Career in a Difficult Job Market

o   Building Business as a Young Attorney

o   How to Mentor a New Lawyer

o   Why Go to Law School

o   Writing Billing Summaries: Four Tips for the New Lawyer

o   So, You Have Been Assigned a Project? – Part 1 (Set Up)

o   So You Have Been Assigned a Project – Part 2 (Running Your Project)

o   Five Critically Important Career-Building Lessons

o   Five Tips on How to Nail the Big Job Interview

o   Time to Reflect and Think about the Big Picture

o   Conference Call Fundamentals

o   Moving into Management

o   The Art of Seizing the Moment

o   Dressing for Success

o   Anchors Away: Cognitive Biases in the Law

Writing Tips – Quick Tips to Punch Up Your Prose

o   Legal Writing for an In-House Audience: Three Rules

o   Becoming a Better Legal Writer

o   Drafting Effective EEOC Position Statements

o   Clarity in Contracts

o   The Great Fonts Debate

o   Effective E-mails, Part 1: Get Noticed

o   Effective E-mails, Part 2: Take Your Time

o   Effective E-mails, Part 3: Preserve the Privilege

o   Legal Memos Don’t Have to Be Bad