Many summer associates worry that their skills will not hold up to BigLaw standards. Don’t worry too much. If you got the job, your writing ability is probably not in question, but in this economy, every possible advantage is worth taking.
Fortunately, Ross Guberman, of Legal Writing Pro, goes over what it takes to make your writing projects stand out in the dwindling crowd of summer associates.
With our recent post on big words in mind, here is a highlight:
8. Return to Earth. Summers often stuff their drafts with their newfound legal lexicon. But you don’t want to produce a parody of legal writing—lots of “heretofores,” “ipso factos” and “well-settled threshold principles”—that obscures your practical analysis and persuasive prose. If you try to impress partners with words and phrases that are new to you but all too familiar to them, you’ll become the summer associate version of the law school applicant who writes an essay on the pros and cons of “The Common Law.”
When supervisors review your work, they do not need proof that you are attending law school. They need you to help solve a problem, skirt an obstacle or change someone’s mind. Every word of every draft should be geared toward one of those goals.
These tips are not just applicable to summer associates. Cultivating the written word is a lawyer’s life-long endeavor.
Writing Tips for a Successful Summer | Lawjobs