LawProse Lesson 389: Are you writing a brief because it’s due?

LawProse Lesson 389: Are you writing a brief because it’s due?

We hope not. It’s not the best reason to write. We hope you’re writing because you have an argument—or a series of arguments—to make on behalf of a client. You must have something worth communicating. Otherwise, you’d just be filling pages—and what you’d say would probably be forced, vacillating, and only half-true. You’d be doing your client a disservice.

The proper mindset for the real writer is that of communicative fervor. If you’re writing a brief, you ardently wish to get your points across to a judge or law clerk. If you want to know more about that mindset, attend our Advanced Legal Writing & Editing course.

Further reading:

Garner, The Winning Brief 46–49 (3d ed. 2014).

Antonin Scalia & Bryan A. Garner, Making Your Case 8–11, 69–70 (2008).

Garner, Legal Writing in Plain English 7–9 (2d ed. 2013).

Garner, The Elements of Legal Style 181–83 (2d ed. 2002).

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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