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The carefully crafted parenthetical illustration can be a powerful tool in persuasive legal analysis. It can also reflect five areas of a student’s practice-ready skills. These skills include research, use of mandatory and persuasive authorities, rule synthesis and application, clarity and conciseness in writing, and citation form. The student who achieves competency not only in formatting citations but also in drafting clear, concise, illustrative parentheticals demonstrates an understanding of rule permutations. This competency can open doors for opportunities both within and outside law school. Doors can open to better grades, journal invitations, publication offers, internship and externship placements, and jobs, including clerkships. Teaching how to draft stellar parenthetical illustrations in the first-year writing curriculum, therefore, can provide students with a competitive advantage in this tight job market.



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