Andy Mergendahl

Andy Mergendahl

Andy Mergendahl is a privacy officer at a large commercial bank. He's also been a solo practitioner and a judicial law clerk. He considers himself a foot soldier in the War on Legalese (also known as the War Without End). Andy enjoys collecting names for bands that do not (yet) exist, being a runner (but not the act of running so much), and the bourbon Old Fashioned at Eat Street Social in Minneapolis. Follow him on Twitter @andymergendahl

Vacation and the Big Question

Vacations are important for your mental health. But they also give you a chance to confront the big question: are you happy in your current job?

Andy Mergendahl

Cross-Examination and the Perfect Question

During cross-examination, constructing perfect questions will force the witness to give only answers that help you persuade the jury and win the trial.

Andy Mergendahl

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.

Andy Mergendahl

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.

Andy Mergendahl

Law Schools Are Changing, But How and Why? (Part 2)

Until the federal government stops the free flow of student loan money, law schools will not make significant changes.

Andy Mergendahl

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.

Andy Mergendahl

Law Schools Are Changing, But How and Why?

Recent news about law schools suggest there's real change going on. There really isn't. Why not? As always, follow the money.

Andy Mergendahl

Origins of the Legal Writing Wars, Part Three

Here's the true story of why lawyers became obsessed with the written word.

Andy Mergendahl

Negotiation Myths vs. Reality

Old-school maxims about how to negotiate are often incorrect. Social science is showing us how to get better results.

Andy Mergendahl

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.

Relationships Often Matter More Than Results

You may be a great lawyer. But that has a limited amount of impact on your future. How people feel about you matters just as much, or more.

Andy Mergendahl

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.

Our Favorite Books About Lawyering (and Other Stuff)

Looking for some summer reading? Check out some of our writers' favorite books---and they are not all about lawyers!

Thoughts On Cube Farming

Cube farms are an unfortunate fact of work life. Here

Andy Mergendahl

The War on Drugs is Collapsing

After almost a hundred years and upwards of a trillion dollars spent, the War on Drugs is collapsing under the weight of its complete failure.