Readers ask: What Is Legal Writing?

What is meant by legal writing?

Legal writing involves the analysis of fact patterns and presentation of arguments in documents such as legal memoranda and briefs. One form of legal writing involves drafting a balanced analysis of a legal problem or issue. Another form of legal writing is persuasive, and advocates in favor of a legal position.

What is the purpose of legal writing?

The purpose of legal writing is usually to persuade, but think deeply and thoroughly about that purpose. For example, you write a motion to dismiss brief or opposition brief to persuade a judge to either dismiss or not dismiss a complaint.

What is legal writing in law school?

Legal writing refers generally to the analysis of fact patterns and presentation of arguments in legal memos and briefs. Those working in settings where client-based or impact litigation are the principal focus will draft and file legal briefs that coherently present their side’s written arguments to the court.

What is an example of legal writing?

The prototypical examples of such writing are legal memoranda, letters, briefs, motions, and judi- cial opinions.

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What are the basic principles of legal writing?

David Gargaro

  • Use short sentences for complicated thoughts. Do not put too many important ideas in one sentence.
  • Use active voice verbs.
  • Make verbs do the work.
  • Remove unnecessary or extra words.
  • Remove redundant (legal) phrases.
  • Use everyday language.
  • Choose specific and concrete words.
  • Use modifiers carefully.

What are the elements of legal writing?


  • Introduction. Law is a profession of words.
  • Correctness. A good piece of legal writing hews to the accepted standards of form, tone, and manner of writing.
  • Accuracy.
  • Clarity.
  • Use specific instead of general words.
  • Conciseness.
  • Simplicity.
  • Organization.

What makes good legal writing?

The Article then provides an analysis of the fundamental qualities that enable legal writing to do this, concluding that there are three such qualities: clarity, conciseness, and the ability to appropriately engage the reader.

How can I practice legal writing?

Here are ten ways that you can improve your legal writing skills.

  1. Take Classes.
  2. Use Outlines.
  3. Read Challenging Material.
  4. Write Concisely.
  5. Never Use The First Draft.
  6. Always Proofread Several Times.
  7. Ask Someone To Review Your Work.
  8. Have A Good Topic Sentence.

What are the chief characteristics of legal writing?

The paper argues that use of plain language, avoiding legalese, proper punctuation and grammar, clarity of thought, adequate and accurate research, proper organisation, brevity in expression and engaging with the audience is the key to good legal writing.

What are the stages of legal writing?

How to make your legal writing stand out in law school—a three-step process

  • Why legal writing goes bad.
  • The process for successful drafting.
  • Step I: Planning and Outlining.
  • Step II: Writing the First Draft.
  • Step III: Revising, Editing, and Proofreading.
  • Tech tools for legal writing.
  • Conclusion.
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How many stages of legal writing are there?

The three stages of the legal writing process Prewriting Stage The stage where the assignment is organized, researched, and analyzed.

Why is legal writing so difficult?

One of the reasons the law is often written in complicated or hard-to-understand language is because of the way law develops. In the United States, we use something called stare decisis. Another reason the law is so complicated is that sometimes lawyers will disagree about what a word or phrase means.

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