LawProse Lesson 386: There is no mystery to good legal writing.

LawProse Lesson 386: There is no mystery to good legal writing.

You want to write well in law? Not just to write—which any lawyer can do—but to write well. The distinction between writing and writing well is the difference between shooting baskets in your driveway and high-level competitive basketball, between humming tunes and virtuoso vocal performances, between duffers’ rounds of golf and tournament victories.

There’s no mystery about how to write effective letters, motions, briefs, and contracts. But if you’re to succeed, you must start not with dreams, wishes, and half-truths, but with a solid foundation. If you care to, you can acquire it in any phase of your career.

Your objective is to create prose that produces certain effects: the practical legal results you seek on behalf of a client. You don’t think about yourself but instead about your intended readers. What are they like? They’re monstrously busy, so you must deliver your message with great efficiency. They’re tired of all the other legal writing that’s so predictably tedious, abstract, and turgid. You must know how to sound fresh. They’re inclined to be skeptical, so you must support sound ideas with concrete facts and avoid verbose woolgathering.

You must show your reader, from the very start, that you’re comfortable handling words and ideas—that you’ll be a good companion throughout the reading. Your competitors at the bar generally don’t do this: instead, they parrot what everyone else does, as if the goal were to sound like a dry-as-dust formbook.

If you want to acquire the skill of writing well—nobody’s born with it—we can show you how.

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.

Register to reserve your spot today.

Have you wanted to bring Professor Garner to teach your group? Contact us at for more information about in-house seminars.

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