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4 Laws of Legal Writing Every Lawyer Should Know

December 9th, 2016 Comments off

legal-writing-rules
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.

To Be Brief in Legal Writing The Final Warnings for Lawyers Who Can’t Get to the Point

October 10th, 2016 Comments off

legal-writing-tips
The ability to properly, accurately convey your thoughts by means of language is the highest culture of speech. But the ability to properly convey your thoughts and at the same time to be brief, to the point and clear in legal writing is a perfect mastery. Legal writing requires specific knowledge not just in linguistic sphere, but in judicial as well.

Only well-qualified lawyers who have sufficient knowledge not only in the field of law, but in other spheres of public life as well, can be real experts in legal writing. The primary reason of legal writing is to give information, persuade in the given and make the influence on the reader and the audience of their interests, mood, feelings and behavior. Legal writing must have scientific content and comply with the norms of legal writing.

There are different factors that can help lawyers to be brief, to the point and clear in this craft so here we present to you a few legal writing tips that will help.

Clarity of Thought

First, clarity of thought and accurately presented information. The main goal of each message, either written or an oral one, is to get the word out.  The most important quality of a successful legal writing is considered to be accuracy. It must be remembered that inaccurately selected word in an oral speech can be corrected, but in the written one it can’t be done.

Logic

Second, logic and semantic accuracy (uniqueness) of presented information. Legal writing requires the most exact, logical, unequivocal expression of thought and form of thinking. All the facts and the information must be placed in a strict logical order.  Clarity is achieved by a clear composition, logical exposition, persuasive arguments. Clarity involves the use of complex syntax and semantics to express the thoughts, especially in the reasoning and the operative part of the documents.

Brevity

Third, conciseness, lack of verbosity and avoidance of unnecessary, irrelevant thoughts. Laconism is a key to success in every legal writing. But being brief doesn’t mean forgetting about grammar rules.  The shorter the sentences the more chances are that the reader will catch the main idea and bullet points in the text. It’s important to get rid of legalese jargon, too ink-horn terms.

Vocabulary

Fourth, proper vocabulary and use of language. Legal writing requires the knowledge of technical terminology, specialized phrases and words used in legal sphere. Formality is another outstanding feature that has to be taken into consideration. It’s also very important to remember about the intended audience depending on the type of the document you are compiling.  Writing must be properly organized and guide the reader by means of introduction paragraphs, linking words, headings and subheadings that are a road map to the reader.

To sum up, the main tool of every top-tier lawyer is the language.  By means of the language we can compile legal writings, stand up for the rights of the clients, appear before a court and simply communicate with each other.  Whatever writings you made before, it has nothing to do with compiling the legal ones which are absolutely different and difficult to make.