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On informal style

Just passing on an interesting post about informal style in writing generally and legal writing particularly, inspired by the Green Bag’s 2012 honorees for exemplary legal writing.1 It’s by Ryan G. Koopmans, a contributor to On Brief: Iowa’s Appellate Blog. Ryan advocates a less formal writing style. So do I, though I’m not sure that I’d call it informal versus formal. What I strive for is a relaxed, natural style—not prepackaged regurgitation of stock phrases, but language that comes from my own mind and heart.

Ryan asks the question, “Who is your style guide?” For me, it’s no one person. Two that come to mind are John Minor Wisdom and Antonin Scalia. I would not call their style “informal” so much as original and individual. Sames goes for Richard Posner and Alex Kozinski.


1 I’m not on the list.