How Lawyers Write

Legal writing is a required course for all 1st year law students. Yet for all the emphasis on tight, logical argumentation, pithy style with comprehensive analysis, and its application in most lawyer’s practice and judges’ work (often on a daily basis), lawyers are notoriously horrible writers. Lawyers invented legalese and are pilloried (rightly so) for using phrases like “such,” “said,” “hereintofore,” etc. No one (including lawyers) wants to read or interpret the small print or endless legalese warnings we’ve grown accustomed to seeing in daily life. Yet lawyers continue to use legalese like it’s going out of style.

Here’s Scott Turow, acclaimed novelist and attorney, on how he writes, courtesy of The Daily Beast. And here’s Louis Auchincloss, the late estate planning attorney and author of many novels about old money New York society, on his writing techniques. Enjoy.

If my law firm, Johnson Law KC LLC, can help you or your company with your IP needs – copyrights, trademarks, or related litigation, call (913-707-9220) or email me ( for a convenient, free consultation. My firm is experienced at helping clients navigate the complex twists and turns of IP law, while adding value to clients’ creative arts and IP, and provides friendly, affordable counsel for your legal needs.

(c) 2013, Stephen M. Johnson, Esq.

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