A Novice Lawyer at the Art Gallery

Canadian Legal Education Annual Review, 2011

14 Pages Posted: 19 Feb 2020

Date Written: November 22, 2011


This article reflects, via the medium of art, on a learning transition in legal writing. Specifically, it analyzes the new lawyer’s transition from the legal writing genre of office memorandum to the legal writing genre of advocacy brief. To emphasize key qualities of the legal writing genres memo and brief, the article presents two paintings, by Léon Bonvin and Camille Pissarro respectively. Viewed together, the paintings also emphasize the concept of transition. My reflections here stem from my own learning process as an articling student and new lawyer, and from a chance experience I had at an art gallery which furthered my grasp of legal writing. The article aims to make the writing transition from memo to brief more accessible to the novice lawyer, especially the visual learner. More broadly, it aims to encourage reflective professional dialogue between expert and novice lawyers about writing skills, as legal writing becomes an increasingly vital means by which lawyers communicate.

Keywords: legal education, legal writing skills, legal writing transitions, memorandum, advocacy brief, visual learner, art, reflective professional practice

Suggested Citation

Ashenhurst, Veronica, A Novice Lawyer at the Art Gallery (November 22, 2011). Canadian Legal Education Annual Review, 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1970426

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