First-year legal writing mistakes & how to avoid them

Student LawyerIn undergrad, you were a term paper pro. You could crank out thought-provoking three- to five-page term papers replete with resplendent prose and droll, pithy observations, impressing your professors by transforming minutiae into master­pieces. You razzle-dazzled them with all your word bling.

In law school, no one is impressed by your word bling. Less is more, especially when it gets right down to business. Legal writers are rewarded for conciseness, precision, sophisticated analysis, and ef­fective communication.

Hot tips for new (and not so new) legal writers in my article, First-year legal writing mistakes & how to avoid them, in the ABA Student Lawyer. New legal writers often carry college writing tactics with them to law school like inflating ideas, using fancy words (word bling!), and “more is more.” This idea inflation conflates with students wanting to “sound like a lawyer,” cranking out papers loaded with legalese and quotations.

My article suggests a few easy fixes: cut to the chase, use your words, and lead your reader. Read all about it here.