7 Tips for Improving Your Legal Writing Skills
Why should a lawyer develop strong writing skills? First of all, a poorly written text creates legal risks. If someone finds a problem in the text, it may spark a multi-million dollar dispute. What’s more, 59% of people say that they could not understand the legal documents at all when 28% of people struggle even to read the poorly written legal text to its end. Here are the top legal writing tips for your consideration.
We thought it would be helpful to provide an action-oriented method so law students could easily create a high-quality text. Check out great advice on crafting the perfect briefs!
1. Start a Paragraph in a Form of Responses to Questions That You Expect to Get
Why do we lawyers locate so much time learning “legal writing”? About 90% of legal writing is just writing. This tip starts with citation, “Not all legal writing needs to be excellent. Sometimes, it just needs to answer a question.” Answering the questions when you start opening each paragraph is the way to clarify the most crucial points in your summary.
Try to solve the current problem or requests, for example: “Where to complain about housing and communal services”, “How to register an individual entrepreneur in 2020”, “How not to fall under the reduction”, “How to avoid the penalty for late submission of a zero declaration”, etc.
2. Complete a Fact Part by Providing Empathetic Closing Thoughts
When improving your writing skills, lawyers recommend practicing not a formal way of closing statements. As the conclusion is the most essential section of a story, it is advisable to describe the details by showing morality, values, and praiseworthy qualities. Lots of lawyers/advocates start with such insights as desire, justice, integrity (sure, it all depends on the type of documents or case).
You can also use plain words while writing answers to hypothetical questions and finish the fact part by strengthening your case with a moral context in a persuasive sound of the brief. Of course, the pragmatic legal approach in writing is ignored sometimes. It is important not to forget to address an analysis of a legal issue from the point of view of its practical solution and presentation in the interests of a certain individual or legal entity.
3. Keep Learning & Reading Useful Information
Read a lot. Reading enriches the vocabulary, in addition, fills your speech with certain language structures that are rarely used in oral communication. You can also try to retell the simplest text writing. After reading an article, you can summarize the essence of what you’ve read.
What’s more, you can record daily interesting events, thoughts and describe news or even start blogging about the law. You can also check the website essayontime.com.au, read useful sources, find reliable broadcasting, listen to podcasts or communicate with other experts in the field. Write about what you know and what you can share with the world. Our legal writing tip and message here is to open your boundaries, start writing and learning new information.
4. Write with an Easy & Straightforward Sound
The target audience of lawyers is usually people who did not get a special legal education. Probably, these potential clients are already tired of reading complex law texts or getting a clear understanding of the official letters. Even some lawyers hardly manage to get the meaning out of a “completely ugly text” of some civil procedures briefs.
Potential clients of lawyers are usually entrepreneurs, managers, pensioners, housewives and people who want a clear piece of a document without complicated things. So how to simplify a legal text for them:
- By providing simple and straightforward sentences — it does not mean primitive, you just have to write respectfully and think about the benefits for the reader.
- By trying to remove lawyer jargon, lawyer phrases, and legal cliches that make your writing hard to comprehend even from contracts where an official business style is considered mandatory.
5. Show Expertise
Making high-quality informational content is difficult, however, try to show expertise. This way, you can build your trust as a professional. If your text does not explain things clearly, it is absolutely useless.
It is also necessary to show the authenticity of the legal text. You need to make sure that there is evidence or witnesses to all the facts stated in the text and that they can be presented officially. It is worth remembering that you have to provide statements of facts. Information about privacy can be published, protecting the public interest but its presence will have to be proved.
First of all, you need to make the legal text easy for your clients and readers to understand and quickly show the information they need. Divide your text into parts as busy individuals usually scan the text, therefore, headings will help them read faster and jump to the right parts easier. When creating a brief, you have to focus on delivering information and facts in a way that helps to minimize the time and energy clients spend on understanding the piece.
Indeed, students learn theory, an analytical approach to the study of the legal issues which are valuable aspects. However, as a rule, it is important to know how to apply the acquired deep theoretical knowledge to a specific legal writing situation.
Jeff Blaylock is a blogger and legal writer expert. He thinks the ability to provide informative and clear information is a state of art. So it’s quite important to be a professional in the field, especially in the present busy world. It doesn’t matter whether you are doing research, legal writing, an essay or just creating an email — the quality of the text will determine your success. Students can also use various writing tools and services that can help overcome some obstacles.