A Practical Guide to Legal Writing and Legal Method (Aspen, 3rd ed., 2007) (with Richard
V. Singleton II et al.).
In 1981, John Dernbach and Richard Singleton first published A Practical Guide to Legal
Writing and Legal Method, a text for first-year law students. Their idea was to combine
writing with “thinking like a lawyer” in a text that divided the task into discrete steps. Each
step is explained, illustrated with good and bad examples, and then applied by students in
discrete exercises. This book, whose effective teaching method has been widely used and
imitated, is now considered a classic in the field. A third edition was published in 2007.
Exam writing in law school is a challenging and often feared experience for law students.
But it is more than that. A law student’s grades have a considerable effect on his or her job
opportunities. This easy-to-read 95 page book demystifies the exam writing process, and
has helped thousands of students get better grades.
Legal Drafting (Aspen 1994) (with Susan L. Brody et al.).
Legal drafting is an important skill in law practice, whether it be estate planning, pleading,
contracts, or legislation. Using his long experience drafting legislation and regulations in
Pennsylvania, Dernbach contributed the legislative drafting chapter to this book.
"This dynamic paperback text presents a highly effective, classroom-tested process for
legal drafting. Prepared with this practical strategy, students will move beyond merely filling
in the blanks to create the customized documents clients need, and adapt preexisting
forms to new uses." --Aspen Publishers