LawProse Lesson 370: Justice Breyer on the Judiciary

LawProse Lesson 370: Justice Breyer on the Judiciary

In September 2021, in the Wall Street Journal, LawProse founder and leader Bryan A. Garner reviewed Justice Stephen Breyer’s edifying new book The Authority of the Court and the Peril of Politics (Harvard, 2021). If you read the print edition, it’s on page A13. If you have an online subscription, you can read it here:

Now for the writing tip. As you’re reading, consider that a good essay, book review, motion, brief, etc. ties the conclusion to the opening. This tie creates an arc to the writing. In journalism, it’s best if the linkage you supply is clever, unexpected, and intellectually satisfying. If you’re able to read the review, we hope you’ll agree that Professor Garner has provided us a good example.

Further reading on conclusions in legal writing:

The Elements of Legal Style 58–59 (2d ed. 2002).
Legal Writing in Plain English 71 (2d ed. 2013).
Making Your Case: The Art of Persuading Judges 37–38, 100–01 (2008).
The Winning Brief 604–10 (3d ed. 2014).

Live seminars this year with Professor Bryan A. Garner: Advanced Legal Writing & Editing

Attend the most popular CLE seminar of all time. More than 215,000 people—including lawyers, judges, law clerks, and paralegals—have benefited since the early 1990s. You'll learn the keys to professional writing and acquire no-nonsense techniques to make your letters, memos, and briefs more powerful.

You'll also learn what doesn't work and why—know-how gathered through Professor Garner's unique experience in training lawyers at the country's top law firms, state and federal courts, government agencies, and Fortune 500 companies.

Professor Garner gives you the keys to make the most of your writing aptitude—in letters, memos, briefs, and more. The seminar covers five essential skills for persuasive writing:

  • framing issues that arrest the readers' attention;
  • cutting wordiness that wastes readers' time;
  • using transitions deftly to make your argument flow;
  • quoting authority more effectively; and
  • tackling your writing projects more efficiently.

He teaches dozens of techniques that make a big difference. Most important, he shows you what doesn't work—and why—and how to cultivate skillfulness.

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