LawProse Lesson 387: Why lawyers should write for publication.

LawProse Lesson 387: Why lawyers should write for publication.

When you get your writing published, there’s always a payoff—sometimes far beyond your most hopeful dreams. A solid group of articles, a few insightful book reviews, or even a good monograph or book can mean the difference between a so-so career and a stellar one.

Four benefits are sure to come your way:

  1. You’ll add to the knowledge of your field.
  2. You’ll learn more about your own subject.
  3. You’ll contribute to your firm’s PR.
  4. Both you and your firm will gain prestige.

But it won’t come easily. You must have sound, nonobvious ideas; you must come across as unbiased; and you must achieve clarity. All this takes time, energy, and skill—more than unpublished lawyers would ever suspect.

Let’s focus on ideas for a moment. Because others will have preceded you, it’ll be crucial to know what they’ve said and how they’ve approached the subject. How else might you truly know that you’re saying something that’s both sound and nonobvious—and somewhat new?

Your new approach to the subject, with its personal touch, must benefit your readers in some way. Only then will your piece justify its existence. You must size up your subject and develop ideas that have practical significance. Then write about it with verve and brio.

At LawProse, we sometimes encounter lawyers who expect to profit immediately from their writing. That’s the wrong approach, and the people who think this way are typically mediocre writers. Avoid this pitfall. Although your rewards may seem intangible for the first few years, in the end you’ll discover that you’ve undergone immense personal and professional growth.

Meanwhile, you’ll learn something about professional standards in writing. These are high standards that few lawyers ever reach. They are standards that we specialize in helping legal writers meet.

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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