LawProse Lesson #405 Renegade Writers

LawProse Lesson #405 Renegade Writers

Professional writers know that they’ve had to abandon various “school rules” to become successful. They’ve had to unlearn the untruths that seemingly all writers pick up along the way. (A prime example is the idea that you should never write a one-sentence paragraph.) A renegade writer rejects superstitions. The important thing is to know which “rules” to jettison and which ones to keep.          

Only then can you write in a way that doesn’t waste time—not your reader’s, and not your own. If you develop that rare skill, you acquire something of considerable commercial and personal value.          

We recommend three sources for unlearning the “school rules” that aren’t really rules at all—the false notions that will hinder you as a writer: 

  1. Bryan A. Garner, Garner’s Modern English Usage 1057–61 (5th ed. 2022) (under “Superstitions”).
  2. John R. Trimble, Writing with Style 76–87 (3d ed. 2011) (in the chapter called “Superstitions”).
  3. H.W. Fowler, A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage 606–07 (Ernest Gowers ed., 2d ed. 1965) (under “Superstitions”). 

Perhaps you know the relevant passages by heart already. If so, heartiest congratulations.      

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.

Scroll to Top