Legal Writing Tips from Bryan Garner

#1. “You will never write as good well as you read, so read seriously and for technique. Subscribe to The New YorkerThe EconomistThe New York Times and The Wall Street Journal.

After you’ve completed your legal research, but before you write your brief, pause, sit down, and read an article in The Economist. Then write. It will be a good tonic to your style. ”

#2Be a lawyer who clarifies and not a lawyer who obfuscates. Judges will trust your writing and you will win more often, even when the merits are not in your favor.

#3Don’t bury your good content. It’s untrustworthy and ineffective. Emphasize and amplify what IS important in your writing. For example, on the first page of your brief clearly and concretely frame your legal and factual issues in a single paragraph no longer than 75 words that ends with the question mark.