Mastering Legal Writing

The Mastering Legal Writing series was created by Marisa Kakoulas.  She says:

"In Brussels I have come across many non-native English language lawyers who typically speak excellent English, but are far less secure about their written English.

Knowing and applying small drafting changes can make a noticeable difference in the quality of written-English communications. 

Writing difficulties also plague native English speakers.  I have found many native English language attorneys appreciate having bad drafting habits remedied and being reminded of now-forgotten drafting rules.

I hope this series of articles helps in improving your legal drafting."

Tip 1 - Place important ideas at the beginning of your document, paragraph and sentence.

Tip 2 - Omit needless words.

Tip 3 - Keep the subject, the verb and the object of a sentence together.

Tip 4 - Use the active voice, which speaks louder than the passive voice.

Tip 5 - Introduce each paragraph with a topic sentence.

Tip 6 - Transition between paragraphs.

Tip 7 - Avoid ambiguous words and phrases.

Tip 8 - Avoid nominalizations.

Tip 9 - Check your punctuation.

Tip 10 - Be a rebel and break the rules when necessary.