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Appellate Advocacy Research Guide: Online Tools for Preparing Appellate Briefs

This guide provides links to and descriptions of the Library's best and most popular appellate advocacy resources . It includes resources on state and federal rules, brief writing, oral argument, and appellate practice before state and federal courts.

Overview

This page collects online resources for assisting students with technical aspects of drafting an appellate brief like assembling a table of contents and a table of authorities.

Procertas Legal Technology Assessment (and Training)

Procertas (http://www.procertas.com) offers a Legal Technology Assessment (LTA) which is a series of training modules and assessments designed to help legal professionals become more proficient at using Microsoft Word, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Powerpoint and Adobe Acrobat. Procertas' LTA provides 'competency-based' training and assessment. For each task there is a demonstration video, a practice task, and then a separate assessment.

Procertas has a training and assessment module for creating and editing legal briefs using Microsoft Word. The module includes the following tasks:

  • View Navigation Pane, Select and Update Headings
  • Modify Heading Style Using the Navigation Pane
  • Generate Table of Contents Using Styles
  • Generate and Modify Table of Authorities
  • Mark Citations and Update Table of Authorities
  • Format Tab Stops
  • Use Window/Orphan Control
  • Insert Non-Breaking Hyphen
  • Insert Section Break
  • Insert and Format Shape
  • Convert Text to Table
  • Format Table Using Table Layout Ribbon
  • Format Page Numbers
  • Export or Save as PDF

As part of the training modules each task has a short "teach me" video that demonstrates how to accomplish the task using Word. Students can utilize these videos without having to take the related assessment or complete the training.

The Law Library provides access to the LTA for all Loyola Law students, faculty and staff. Individual login credentials are required to access Procertas. Contact Joe Mitzenmacher, Reference and Electronic Services Librarian (jmitze1@luc.edu or ext. 5-6844) to set up your own account.

Microsoft Word for Lawyers Training Pages and Blogs

There are a myriad of free online sites aimed at assisting lawyers with Microsoft Word. Here are two of the best:

Lexis and Westlaw Resources

Lexis and Westlaw both offer tools for integrating research and drafting. These include research-related features like automatically generating a table of authorities or cite-checking an entire brief.

  • Lexis for Microsoft Office is a download that integrates many Lexis features into Microsoft Word.
  • Westlaw TOA Builder is a separate Westlaw tool that allows one to upload a brief and automatically build and cite-check a table of authorities

Additional LUC Resources

Books:

  • Loyola University Libraries provide access to a number fo books and eBooks on Microsoft Word, Microsoft Office, Adobe Acrobat and other drafting software. For example, there are nearly 200 eBooks with 'Microsoft Word' in the title. The best way to search is to go to the main LUC Libraries page (libraries.luc.edu) and choose the Advanced Search option below the search box.

Hoonuit:

  • Hoonuit (https://www.atomiclearning.com/login/luc) is an online, on demand training site that offers 50,000 tutorial videos on over 250 technology applications including Microsoft and Adobe products. You will need a UVID to login. Hoonuit is provided by Loyola Information Technology & Research Support