4 Laws of Legal Writing Every Lawyer Should Know
Legal language acts as a carrier of information and as means of influence on people. Lawyers draft the laws, conduct business correspondence, write interrogation protocols and other regulations, indictments, claims, judgments, treaties, agreements, applications and complaints due to the use of legal writing language. In legal writing practice we can encounter the texts where it is needed to stick to strict formal writing regulations (certificates, acts), but there are other text types that are written in a more free form. Below you may find four legal writing rules every lawyer should know.
1 Be Persuasive and Argumentative
Every legal writing should be presented in a persuasive way, so it must be not only a competent text, but also a reasoned and argumentative one. The main aim is to convince the reader or the listener. The written, information must be clear, as clarity of expression promotes the persuasion. For a lawyer the ability to speak eloquently and write literary quality papers is a must. Not depending on the communicative role, whether the lawyer is making the bills, carrying out the investigation, delivering a verdict, protecting the rights of the defendants, the main task of such a professional is to explain the rule of law to every citizen. Lawyers deal with a variety of life cases on a daily basis, they need to correctly assess situation, take right decision and convince those who addressed them in the correctness of their point of view. Below
2 Mind the Legal Writing Components
There are three legal writing components that are to be taken into consideration while compiling a legal writing text.
- First, logic (data – analysis – conclusion), you need to follow the compliance with the laws of logic while presenting the material.
- Second, objectiveness (scientific facts), argumentativeness and reasonableness, built on facts and special requirements for the selection of words that should provide understanding and clarity of the text.
- Third component is generalization, standardization and consistency.
3 Use Plain Language
Everything in legal writing must be presented in the most clear, precise, simple and compact way. Therefore, speaking about legal language we often talk about the simplicity of style. Use of metaphors, idiomatic expressions and complex constructions are not appropriate. Legal writings, except for academic papers are written in an official-business style. Consequently, such papers have distinctive features, their “technique” is not typical or even acceptable for other stylistic genres.
4 Use the Right Terminology
There are three types of terms which can be used in legal writing: common, technical and legal. However, despite this diversity, terminology must be clear to the addressee and adequately reflect certain concepts. There are a lot of state expressions known as “legal formulae” in legal writing, such as: make a deal, in accordance with the law, provisions of this agreement, heir to the law, divorce, preventive measures. There are many other expressions of this type, they are easily remembered and are widely used in legal sphere.
Legal writing rules are very important for every lawyer, they are used in the course of investigation and during court hearings, in the course of negotiations and business meetings with the clients, it greatly contributes to mutual exchange of ideas and thoughts.