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

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.

Andy Mergendahl

The “Gold Standard” of Evidence is Unreliable

Eyewitness testimony has traditionally been the evidence that juries give the most weight. Problem: it's notoriously unreliable.

Andy Mergendahl

A Jury of Whose Peers?

Why don't juries reflect the whole community? And can anything be done about it?

Top 5 Tips to Draw Readers to Your Blog

I've been thinking a lot about what elements a blog post needs to draw readers' attention. Here are my top 5.

The Best Career Advice I Ever Got

The Best Career Advice I Ever Got was when a veteran lawyer told me how to do well as an associate.

Andy Mergendahl

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."

Book Review: The Lawyer Bubble—A Profession in Crisis

If you still have hope the legal profession can be changed, read The Lawyer Bubble by Steven J. Harper. His book and his ideas deserve your attention.

Andy Mergendahl

Get a Pet, Keep Your Sanity

Pets are very good for your physical and mental health. They give you a reason to leave the office, go home, and be happy once you get there.

Correct People’s Writing, Not Their Speech

You should work to improve your writing and that of colleagues. You should try to speak well, too. But don't correct others' speech. People hate that.

Inside the Law School Scam: A Heroic Blog Ends

Paul Campos has closed down his Inside the Law School Scam blog. The Internet is now more cowardly.

Andy Mergendahl

Everyone Is A Lawyer

The line between lawyer and not-lawyer is so vague as to be almost meaningless. Which makes the future scary if you're on the "lawyer" side.

Andy Mergendahl

When Writing, Don’t Fear Absurd Arguments

Writing with concision is a challenge. Don't make it even harder by trying to prevent meritless challenges about meaing.

Sitting All Day Is Literally Killing Us

Sitting all day isn't just not good for you. It's destroying your health.

Law School Ruined My Hobbies

It takes a long time to recover from law school. Five years after, I'm starting to learn to enjoy thingsI once loved, but law school made me hate.

Andy Mergendahl

Law Students Should Hang Out With Judges

Law students, no matter what they end up doing later, should spend as much time as possible learning how trial courts work and how trial judges think.