Thursday, September 13, 2007

Why legal writing isn't what it should be

  1. Our primary and secondary education system doesn't adequately emphasize writing education.
  2. Law schools must focus on teaching legal analysis, leaving little time to focus on finer points.
  3. Lawyers imbibe lots of poor writing in judicial opinions.
  4. Lawyers rely on precedent documents that are often poorly written.
  5. Many lawyers writing a legal analysis digest the authorities superficially; many doing drafting understand the transactions superficially.
  6. Many lawyers maintain a misguided sense of professionalism, which often leads to an unnecessarily formal writing style that ignores audience needs.
  7. A majority of lawyers are complacent about their writing, believing something like this: "my writing is pretty good--above average or better."
  8. The time pressure of law practice doesn't allow enough revising and editing to produce a quality product.

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