Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Legal writing isn't what it should be #8

The time pressure of law practice doesn't allow enough revising and editing to produce a quality product.

This is Bryan Garner's idea:
The modern practice of law does not tolerate the type of revisory process necessary to produce a polished product--the "well-managed" law firm has more work to do than it can complete in a given span of time.
Bryan A. Garner, A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage 518 (2d ed. 1995).

Deadlines. Billable hours. Heavy workloads. All these prevent lawyers from taking the appropriate time to polish their writing. Even if I have 4 weeks to write a brief, that's not enough because I have 3 other briefs, 4 memos, and 8 letters to write at the same time.

Revision. Editing. Rewriting. These are what make mediocre writing good and good writing great. But lawyers don't have enough time for them.

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