Lawyerist’s Inaugural Short Fiction Contest
Do you write fiction? We like to read fiction. We would, in fact, like to read your fiction. Submission Guidelines Entries must be original works of fiction of no more than 5,000 words that feature a lawyer as a prominent character. Entries must be submitted by email to firstname.lastname@example.org no later than May 1, 2014. […]
Argle-Bargle, Mumbo Jumbo, and Other Legal Gobbledygook
Just what is “argle-bargle,” and why would any appellate justice—much less one of Justice Scalia’s stature—use such a phrase in a momentous judicial opinion?
My Three Favorite iOS Text Editors
I have tried a lot of text editors, and I like a lot of them, but Byword, Nebulous Notes, and Drafts have consistently been my favorites. Here is why.
Faux Words of Precision—Part 1
It's a popular myth that "words of precision" make contracts more precise. This is the first of a two-part series devoted to debunking that myth.
The Enigmatic Em Dash
Don't fear the em dash—it can add energy and much needed variety to your prose.
Legal Writing Wars: Seeking Precision
In the quest to make their writing precisely clear, lawyers use a number of methods. Few of them make their writing easy to read. And sometimes lawyers intentionally write to make things unclear.
Origins of the Legal Writing Wars: Constructing Sentences
Most lawyers have enough ability to write readable prose, but their style choices doom them to failure. Many of those choices have historical roots.
Origins of the Legal Writing Wars, Part Two
This week, we continue our search for the roots of why legal writing is such a godawful mess. Unsurprisingly, it's partly the fault of the French.
Fear Not Beginning Sentences with And or But
Old superstitions die hard. Yes, you can begin sentences with And and But
Origins of the Legal Writing Wars, Part One
Why is legal writing so awful? The answer, like most answers, is to be found in history.
Legal Writing in Plain English as Culture War
Legal writing in plain English seems sensible, unless you're a lawyer that clings to tradition, and to your elite status as a lawyer.
Use 5-Cent Words for 10-Dollar Ideas
To convey big ideas in your legal writing, use short, familiar Anglo–Saxon words.
Three Grammar Rules to Forget (Because They’re Wrong)
Remember those grammar rules you learned back in grade school? It's time to forget them.
Let’s Consider “Deem” Dead
"Deem" has multiple meanings, and lawyers love to use all of them. The result, as with so much legalese, is confusion. Don't use "deem."