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LARW: Legal Analysis Research & Writing

For first year law students taking LARW.

Microsoft Word Tips

One space after a sentence, not two

Be careful of double spacing after a sentence. You can use the grammar checker on word to show places where you made it 2 spaces. 

Word 2312:

In Word, click on File> Options>Editor - and look under Punctuation Conventions. 

Other versions of Word:

In Word, click on File>Options>Proofing>When Correcting Spelling and Grammar in Word>Writing Style>Settings>Require:Spaces Required between Sentences = 1. Then, when you are back in the document, click on Review>Spelling& Grammar.

Possibly better directions are here:


Turn off Superscript

Word automatically defaults to superscripting the th in 5th Cir.

To default to 5th Cir.:

Select File> Options. Select Proofing, and under AutoCorrect options, select AutoCorrect Options. Go to AutoFormat As You Type and clear the Ordinals (1st) with superscript to prevent the app from applying superscript formatting to numbers.

Creating the Caption

  1. Set line spacing to single space. (Home tab>Paragraph click on the arrow in the bottom right)
  2. When you get to the caption with the )s going down the page:
  • Home tab>Paragraph click on the arrow in the bottom right
  • Click Tabs button in bottom right corner
  • Now the tabs should be set up so you have a tab at .5 (that one is there automatically) for the Party names, etc. at 3.1 for the ) and at 4.1 for “Civil Action No….”

Another way people do it is to make a table with 3 columns and get rid of the border lines.


Law Technology Trainers

Shortcuts for symbols - eg. Section, Paragraph

Click the Insert tab.
2. Click the Symbol button and choose More Symbols.
The Symbols dialog box appears.
3. Choose a symbol.
4. Click the Shortcut Key button to assign a shortcut (or change the
existing one). The Customize Keyboard dialog box appears.
5. Press a shortcut key combination. For example, you could make your
paragraph symbol shortcut alt+p and your section symbol shortcut
For example, press Ctrl+. (period).
6. Confirm that the shortcut key combination is not currently assigned.
After you press the shortcut keys, look in the Customize Keyboard
dialog box by the Currently Assigned To item. If it reads [unassigned],
you’re good to go. Otherwise, the shortcut is already taken and you
need to think of another.
7. Click the Assign button to create that symbol keyboard shortcut.

Page Numbers for an Appellate Brief

Instructions to insert page numbers, suppress first page, and restart the page numbers for a brief

After inserting the page numbers,

  • Double click on the footer 
  • From the Header and Footer tab, click the box in the middle that says Different First page to get rid of the page number on the first page
  • Highlight page number 2, select Page Number in the upper left of the tool bar, click format page numbers and change the number format to I, ii, iii
  • Hit Esc to get out of the footer and back to the text
  •  At the top of the page where you want 1,2,3 numbering to start, put the cursor at the start of the text.
  • Click on the Layout tab, select Breaks and insert a section break (continuous)
  • This should delete the page numbers for the pages below
  • Keeping the cursor before the text on the page you want the 1,2,3 to start…
  • Click on Insert, page number, select Format Page Number and select 1,2, 3 (Arabic numeral format). Then under Page numbering, click the button in front of Start at. Set to start at page 1.
  • Select insert, page number, and insert the page number into the bottom middle of page
  • Uncheck Different First page (Design Tab) for the page you started the 1,2,3 numbers on
  • Scroll back to the first page. If the number i has reappeared delete it.

Create a Macro for a Block Quote

Instructions by Marion Dent, Dean of Pericles Law Center

First, open a double spaced document on Word that has normal formatting and nice long paragraphs in it, and make sure one of those nice long double spaced paragraphs is visible on your screen.

Either on the View or the Developer toolbar, within that toolbar, click the arrow below Macros to open the dropdown menu, and click Record Macro.

Give it a short descriptive name with no spaces. I used “BlockQuote.” Don’t bother with the keyboard or button info, but you might want to fill in the description window if you think you are likely to forget what the macro does. Then, when you are ready click on “OK.” As soon as you have clicked “OK,” Word is watching your every move and recording the code needed to repeat your steps. (Although no one likes being watched, don’t let it make you nervous, you can always delete a macro and start over if it doesn’t work the way you want. But do keep in mind that this is not the time to go to a typo you see and want to correct, nor to exit your document to reply to a pop up message from Facebook.)

Go to the text in your document, block a random few lines of text in the middle of a paragraph and indent it on both sides and single space it, the way you normally would if creating a block quote manually. Then click End Macro.

That’s it, you have created your macro. Now, to access it quickly:

Go to your Quick Assess Toolbar (the one that’s usually showing below the regular toolbars and has your save and undo and perhaps some other icons on it) and click on the tiny down facing arrow at the end of all your quick access buttons, for “Customize Quick Access Toolbar” In that Customize dropdown list, click on “More Commands. . .” Then, within the window that opens up, below the “Choose Commands From” line choose “Macros.”

Find the new macro you just created and click on “Add.” It will then appear on the list at the right. Select it. Then at the bottom click “Modify” and a large number of possible icons appear. Choose an icon to assign to it. I chose the one that looks like a building block, but just choose whatever you will remember. Then click OK.

That’s all. Now at the end of your Quick Access Toolbar you will see the icon for your new macro, and whenever you want to use it, you just block the text that you want to put in Blockquote format, click on your macro button, and it’s done, nicely indented on both sides and single spaced in a way that will make your legal writing teacher smile.