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.
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