Quotation of the day
Louisiana legal-writing seminar

Write like a human being

The January 2009 issue of the ABA Journal includes a column by Jim McElhaney on direct examination. The column includes this tidbit for legal writers:

Legalese is a poisonous set of verbal habits that we unconsciously turn on or off, depending on where we are and what we’re doing. It’s the curse of a traditional legal education....


Here’s the secret for both effective writing and effective speaking:

Learn to talk like a regular person wherever you are. In the office or at home. In court or out. And write like a regular person for both personal and professional matters unless you have a very good reason for using a precise ligal term of art—which is very seldom.