7 Ways Improve Your Legal Drafting Skills

One needs to be able to interact effectively in writing as a law student (and future lawyer) since your written work is the key and it can lead to judge one’s knowledge as well as potential.

Team Law Community
November 27, 2020

One needs to be able to interact effectively in writing as a law student (and future lawyer) since your written work is the key and it can lead to judge one’s knowledge as well as potential. If you’re sending a study memo to an attorney during a summer internship, turning to the final draught of your evaluation note, or typing a response to an essay analysis in a hurry, getting good writing skills will help you get the right impression. Writing, particularly legal writing, is hard work for most of us. It takes a lot of concentration, deliberation, and mental effort. No one can teach how to write it as it develops with time.

Although it may never be easy to produce great legal writing, there are few simple tips you can use to improve your written work product and impress your professors:

Remember your audience:

Every word you write must be as per the reader’s needs. Documents embodying the same research and message, based on the intended audience of the text, can vary greatly in content and tone. A brief submitted to the court, for example, needs to argue and reassure. A recommendation to a client needs to examine the problems, assess the state of the law and recommend a reasonable course of action. When writing any, always keep your audience in mind.

Organize an outline:

The cornerstones of good legal writing are a logical framework and easy to understand presentation of the facts. The best way to help you produce a clear, well-organized document is by outlining your thoughts before you start writing. The more complicated the task; the description should be more comprehensive and informative. While a sketch for a timed essay exam may consist only of a list of issues with a few key details, a sketch for a long study memo or brief should set out in-depth and order the legal principles and arguments.

Read complex and deliver simple:

Such as documents and rulings from the Supreme Court, extensive pleadings, and legal analysis information. Often the best authors are the ones who are avid readers. Pay attention as you read to the language, the structure and the vocabulary. Pay attention to how you express different thoughts and how you organize those papers. Legal writing takes practice, but you can learn a lot simply from reading documents written by those who practised legal writing.

Avoid flowering language, keep short and simple:

The best piece of legislation is straightforward and concise. You don’t get paid by the word, so when one does, there’s no need to use two terms. Excise as many needless words as you can and the final result of the job is likely to be better and more compelling. Try to stick to the topic for better impact as the reader does want what it could be, but they are keener to understand what it is.  

Using more words in a text doesn’t add authority. Try to make your writing compact and clear, as it will make it much more convincing and will have a bigger effect on the reader. Of course, learning to write in a concise, realistic manner will take time and practice, but once you reach the golden balance between length and substance, you’ll be the master of legal writing.

Give your work for review to someone:

Another perfect way to find the little errors you didn’t see is to make someone else read your work. Ask a friend to check your job or a family member. In reality, it might be much easier to get a competent editor to do this. In any case, the concept is to get the work checked well. And it increases the confidence as well as the accuracy of your work.  

Have a strong phase/ quotation:

A good catchy sentence about the subject in the introduction gives a glow and boost to the reader about the document. Anything you write is going to be based on that, so it has to be completely fine. You’ll draw on that idea or thinking to draw; all that will help you keep your writing concise. Longer papers would require a sketch, but with a strong theme sentence, shorter one would do. Don’t just copy the phase and create your own.

Use inactive voice form:

A lot of authors suffer from one problem in various fields: writing in a passive voice. Although there is a passive voice for a reason, it’s not a good idea to always use it in your papers. It helps in creating an impact on the reader's mind. Responsive voice makes your writing even more articulate. It places the focus more on the subject than on the action. So, for example, instead of writing, “The water pump was incorrectly installed by the contractor,” you should write, “The contractor incorrectly installed the water pump.”