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The Indiana Law Library Blog

A Guide for OneLs—Mistakes Are Made

Everyone makes mistakes, and lawyers are no different. According to a recent Law.com article one complaint was allowed even though it misspelled the names of both parties and forgot to list the amount of damages. The defendants asked for a dismissal based on the numerous errors, but the judge decided that the mistakes were not sufficient grounds to dismiss the complaint. The same site references an older article about a solo practitioner who did not notice when his spell checker replaced every occurrence of the term “sua sponte” into “sea sponge.”

There are any number of potential mistakes waiting to be made. Legal terminology is unusual, and you don’t want to be dependent on your spell checker. It is important to edit your own work. And you always want to get the parties right. It is worth checking and double checking your papers and briefs for errors. But is it also true that mistakes are not the end of the world, in law school or even in the real world. Forgive yourself a few mistakes, and get on with your career and you life. But never forget the importance of learning from those mistakes.


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