Download this Paper Open PDF in Browser

Practicing Plagiarism

Illinois Bar Journal, Vol. 81, p. 487, 1993

2 Pages Posted: 4 Mar 2008  

David E. Sorkin

The John Marshall Law School


Plagiarism is among the greatest sins in journalism, literature, science, and higher education in general, but the practice of law often seems to include the wholesale copying of others' words and ideas. The essence of plagiarism is the passing off of another person's words or ideas as one's own. Lawyers must be vigilant in avoiding plagiarism, but in practice it is often difficult to draw the line between plagiarism and acts that are accepted and entirely proper, such as adapting a form rather than drafting a document from scratch. Circumstances dictate when giving credit to a source is appropriate. A citation should always be given for a direct quotation, in any other situation where a source deserves attribution, and where attribution is needed to avoid creating a false impression that the stated ideas represent the author's original work.

Keywords: legal writing, plagiarism, citation

JEL Classification: K10

Suggested Citation

Sorkin, David E., Practicing Plagiarism. Illinois Bar Journal, Vol. 81, p. 487, 1993. Available at SSRN:

David E. Sorkin (Contact Author)

The John Marshall Law School ( email )

315 South Plymouth Court
Chicago, IL 60604
United States
312-987-2387 (Phone)


Paper statistics

Abstract Views