David E. Sorkin
The John Marshall Law School
Illinois Bar Journal, Vol. 81, p. 487, 1993
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.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 2
Keywords: legal writing, plagiarism, citation
JEL Classification: K10
Date posted: March 4, 2008