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Legal Writing & Legal Drafting: Guide to Resources

Legal Drafting: Selected Form Books & Resources

Overview of Legal Form Books   

Legal transactions are often repetitive in nature which has led to the development of model legal forms.  Law firms typically save copies of forms they have created to avoid having to recreate the same forms over again.  This practice  led to the development of multi-volume  books of "standard" legal forms,   Legal forms may accompany books on special topics for practitioners, such as Collier on Bankruptcy. There are many multi -volume collections of forms for specific jurisdictions or special types of courts. Now  we see commercials for internet services providing legal forms for the public and forms can be found freely available on the internet.  

The selection of  legal forms actually requires legal interpretation and knowledge of the law and the courts of the jurisdiction in which  the forms may be used.  Forms should always be tailored to the needs and specific circumstances of clients.  Forms serve as examples.  Sometime courts provide the forms that they wish lawyers and others to use. 

Recent Developments

As with other types of books, legal forms are transitioning to the electronic format.  Our collection still maintains some form books in print format, but often they may no longer be updated in the print format  That means that to update the forms in sets marked not current, Law School  members should go online via Lexis or Westlaw.  As these materials convert to online format both Lexis and Westlaw no longer emulate the book format. Both systems have special forms databases.

Public users may find legal forms online via the Cuyahoga County Public Library System and the CleveNet Library System via the Gale Legal Forms database.  (Ohio Legal Forms). Any Law School members with Cuyahoga County Public Library, or CleveNet Library System borrower cards may also access the Gale Ohio Legal Forms database. 

Selected Form Books

Traditional Print Forms: 

Multi-volume collections of legal forms generally have a separate index volume or volumes.  The collections of forms provided  often include transactional forms, commentary, checklists, analysis, and expert guidance. Selected collections of legal forms are listed below.

General Collections of  Federal Practice Forms 

American Jurisprudence Pleading and Practice Forms Annotated (1956 - present). Online: Westlaw.   

Louis Frumer  and Marvin Waxner, Bender's Federal Practice Forms.  (1951-present). Online: Lexis: Text. Forms. Index.  Print: Law Reserve KF8836 .F78  (3 volumes). 

Richard A. Givens, Manual of Federal Practice Forms (2d ed., 2019-date).  Online: Lexis. 

Fred Lane, Lane's Goldstein Litigation Forms (2011 - present). Online: Westlaw. 

West's Federal  Forms (1952 - present). Online: Westlaw.  Print: Law Reserve KF8836 .W4.  

General Collections of State Practice Forms 

Paul Lieberman, West's Legal Forms  (1981-date) Online: Westlaw.  Print: Law Reserve KF170 .M58 1981.  


General Collections of Ohio Practice Forms

Howard A. Couse, Couse's Ohio Form Book (Rev. 6th ed., 1990-date).  Online: Lexis.  Print: Law Reference KFO68.C65 . 

William W. Milligan, Ohio Forms of Pleading and Practice (2019-date).  Online: Lexis.  Print: Law Reference KFO 530. A65M5.      

Special Topic Collections of Practice Forms

F. Lee Bailey and Kenneth J. Fishman, Complete Manual of Criminal Forms  (3d ed.,1993 - date).  Online: Westlaw. 

Mary Frances Derfner and Arthur D. Wolf, Court Awarded Legal Fees  (2012-date). Online: Lexis

Forms from Patent Litigation Procedure & Tactics (2014 - date).  Online: Lexis.

Health Law Form Finder  Online: Westlaw Edge. 

Modern Real Estate Practice Forms (2010 - date). Online: Westlaw.  

Forms from Rabkin & Johnson Current Legal Forms with Tax Analysis  (2014-date). Online: Lexis.

Uniform Laws Annotated (ULA). Uniform Commercial Code - Forms and Materials volume. (2007 revision).  Online: WestlawPrint: Law Library Reserve KF 165.A5  1968.

Self-Help Forms

101 Forms for Personal Use  (NOLO eds., 10th ed., 2016).  Online: EBSCOhost.