Thursday, July 05, 2007

Improve Your Legal Writing

pen and ink

Wherever you are in your legal career, you can always improve your writing. But how can you find the time? Wayne Schiess has some suggestions for improving your writing, at his blog, Prof. Schiess wrote the suggestions for busy lawyers, and you can use them too.

I have a couple of suggestions to add to those offered by Prof. Schiess. First, read blogs about writing. Besides, I recommend the (new) legal writer, Manage Your Writing, and the Illinois Trial Practice Weblog. Manage Your Writing is about business writing, but the principles apply just as well to legal writing. Evan Schaeffer writes on a number of practical topics, including legal writing, on his Illinois Trial Practice Weblog. Reading blogs about writing will take only a few minutes a day, and you will gain many helpful tips.

My second suggestion, if you are a law student, is to use Prof. Schiess's CALI lessons, Punctuation and Grammar Basics for Law Students and Punctuation and Grammar: Advanced. Your use of punctuation and grammar says a lot about you, especially if you use them poorly.

You cannot afford to submit a poorly-written document to a court, another attorney, a client, or a potential client. Do something to improve your writing now.

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