First-Year Law Students' Court Memoranda

Item Name: First-Year Law Students' Court Memoranda
Author(s): Brian N. Larson
LDC Catalog No.: LDC2017T03
ISBN: 1-58563-786-6
ISLRN: 141-827-463-794-4
Release Date: February 15, 2017
Member Year(s): 2017
DCMI Type(s): Text
Data Source(s): essays, legal documents
Application(s): machine learning
Language(s): English
Language ID(s): eng
License(s): First Year Law Students’ Court Memoranda Agreement
Online Documentation: LDC2017T03 Documents
Licensing Instructions: Subscription & Standard Members, and Non-Members
Citation: Larson, Brian N.. First-Year Law Students' Court Memoranda LDC2017T03. Web Download. Philadelphia: Linguistic Data Consortium, 2017.
Related Works: View


First-Year Law Students' Court Memoranda consists of 197 English law student writing samples of legal briefs annotated for certain characteristics along with accompanying survey responses by the student writers.

The briefs were created in a law school writing class at two law schools in the US Midwest during the 2011-12 academic year. Students who agreed to participate in this study uploaded their briefs to an online survey instrument and answered questions regarding their age, gender, level of education, most recent writing course and method of learning English. The study's purpose was to apply natural language processing approaches to determine any differences in the briefs' language attributable to the students' self-reported genders.


The writings are the year-end memoranda of law to a court required in the two legal writing classes. All students were writing in the same genre and in many instances, on the same hypothetical legal case. The samples were imported into the General Architecture for Text Engineering (GATE) and annotated by two human coders who identified large text segments specific to the legal genre in which the students wrote, such as text headings, citations, block quotes and footnotes.

Writing samples are presented as MS Word documents and annotations and survey responses are presented in XML format. The data has been anonymized to remove names and other identifying information about the student participants.


Please view this MS Word sample and this XML sample.


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