legal writing


Episode #44: Typography for Lawyers, with Matthew Butterick

Why should you care about typography? That’s like asking why you should practice for an oral argument or wear a tie to court. If you aren’t already using Matthew Butterick’s typography guide for lawyers, you’ll snap up a copy after you listen to this podcast. Crowdfunding Lawsuits Crowdfunding is all the rage, these days, and […]

make writing great again

How the Solicitor General’s Style Guide Calls Out Bad Legal Writing

In addition to taking a stand in favor of the "case law" usage, the Guide makes some important recommendations in favor of the active voice, plain language, and more elegant typography.


10 Takeaways from Typography for Lawyers

Matthew Butterick's Typography for Lawyers is a book about legal typography that every person serious about good legal writing should own.


We Tried to Create the Worst Legal Writing Possible

Legalese is awful. To prove it, we combined forces to write the worst piece of legal writing we could. Here’s what we came up with: Clarity in Legal Writing: Unattainable Goal or Necessary Component of Effective Advocacy? The issue of clearness and conciseness in writing and preparing legal documents, e.g. court filings, pleadings, and motions and all other […]


How To Lose Your Case

I didn’t realize that attorneys would prefer to lose, not win, their case. But if your goal is losing, this article is for you. Be sure to incorporate these ideas from my law clerk friends into your motions and briefs — if you want to lose your case.


5 Handwritten Pleadings That Will Make You Lose Faith in Humanity

If you are thinking of handwriting your next pleading, do not let these examples guide you.


Why Creativity is Important to Good Lawyering

Law is rarely considered a creative profession. Most of us think of creatives as being poets and artists, not rule-following lawyers. But creativity simply means you have the ability to think of new ideas, and that is something a good lawyer does every day. Whether you are interpreting a case in a novel way, trying to grow the pie in a negotiation, or reframing a bad fact, you need to hone your creativity.

The Oxford English Dictionary Adds the Non-Gendered Honorific “Mx”

Apparently it is pronounced mux or mix.

knowledge of the law

Casetext and Law Genius: Wikipedia for Law?

Once hidden behind the walls of Westlaw and Lexis Nexis, the law is quickly becoming open-source. Can Law Genius and Casetext Wikipedia the law and make the old guard irrelevant?

self editing lawyer

Write Better Legal Documents with an Editing Checklist

Your first draft is never perfect. Better your writing and arguments with an editorial checklist.

grammar rules to ignore

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.


Do NOT Let Your Client Write Your Petition for a Writ of Certiorari

"Shipley basically let his client write his brief, and the thing turned into an utter shitshow. Witness the nightmare hellscape that is the question presented in this case …"


5 Fonts Courts Use Besides Times New Roman

"Here are some good (and not so good) alternatives to Times New Roman (TNR) we’ve seen in court opinions."

How to Use a Colon

From Columbia Journalism Review: Just as colon the organ, um, moves things along, so does colon the punctuation mark. It signals to a reader that what follows is a list, an elaboration or definition, or something else that continues the thought. It says that what follows is so closely related to the first part of […]


Making It Sing: How Rhetorical Writing Techniques Can Improve Legal Writing

Legal writing does not need to resemble a cross between a nineteenth century sermon and a treatise on higher mathematics.