Developing Style in Your Legal Writing
The rules of writing are endless and often pedantic: by their very nature, they tell you what you should not do. Tethered to these rules, it’s easy to spend too much time thinking about what you can’t do (the rules), rather than what you should do (style).
Developing a unique voice in legal writing becomes difficult when your “style” is a succession of monotonous, lifeless sentences. And flawlessly employing the rules of grammar is no guarantee of good writing, because let’s face it: no one has ever marveled at your use of commas (semicolons, maybe).
Good style is often the forgotten element in legal writing because it’s almost impossible to define. It grabs your readers’ attention and makes them want to keep reading. While we recognize good style when we see it, this means nothing if we can’t use these tools in our own writing. Style is important whether your reader is a client, a colleague or the court. You can’t be convincing if your writing is dull and uninspired, and good grammar alone may not be enough to ensure that your transactional documents are clear and concise.
In this interactive seminar, we unlock the mystery of style by focusing on ideas like concision, rhythm, and emphasis to help you develop writing that sounds good in your own voice. We’ll examine sample texts, then apply what we’ve learned to crafting good sentences that are clear and readable.