Writing Tips for New Lawyers and Law Students

My legal writing professor opened the class with these prophetic words, "If lawyers got paid by the word, we'd all be wealthy. But we don't, and we're not." As attorneys, we have a habit of using longer, complicated words when we could be concise and to the point. You probably caught...

Do You Really Write as Well as You Think You Do?

9 Failings of Legal Writing (& 4 Recommendations to Fix Them) "Lawyers have two common failings. One is that they do not write well, and the other is that they think they do." This line is from Wayne Schiess's (of Legalwriting.net ) "Legal Writing Is Not What It Should...

Review of "Point Made"

I'm rather passionate about legal writing. In particular, I'm looking for ways to improve my own writing. I think my writing is pretty good (I was number one in legal writing in my class for what it's worth), but I know I have a long way to go to get my writing to "great." As such...

Legal Writing Tips from the Top: Supreme Court Justices' Preferences and Pet Peeves

Popular legal writing expert Bryan Garner gathered information from Supreme Court justices and put together a series of interviews as a guide. For example, Chief Justice John Roberts does not like to see "which" used where "that" is more appropriate. Justice Antonin Scalia dislikes...

Writing Style Preferences of Supreme Court Justices

This week, Bryan Garner and Justice Scalia released a new book, Reading Law: The Interpretation of Legal Texts. In honor of this release, before I read it, I thought I would share five of my personal favorite writing tips from Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges , the popular 2008 book by...

A J.D. Doesn’t Guarantee You Clear Communication Skills

Lawyers - write what you mean and mean what you write You may be working on these skills the rest of your career. That's OK. I am a big advocate of using your communications with colleagues, clients, and potential clients to set a tone for your identity as a legal professional ( see my recent...