I’ve linked to this essay before, but with law school new student orientations only a month a way, I figured I would link to it again: How to Read A Legal Opinion: A Guide for New Law Students. Here’s the abstract:
This essay is designed to help new law students prepare for the first few weeks of class. It explains what judicial opinions are, how they are structured, and what law students should look for when reading them.
The essay was published with a Creative Commons license, so educators are free to assign it to students without worrying about copyright issues.
UPDATE: For those having trouble with SSRN’s system, here’s a posted .pdf copy.