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Ways of effective drafting and legal writing

( 119 votes, average: 4.2 out of 5)
What do you think about this article? Rate it using the stars above and let us know what you think in the comments below.
There's a distinct, stereotypical legal style, and an effective legal style. Usually they are worlds apart. Who needs to reread 10 times some paragraph that is packed like Humpty Dumpty's portmanteau words? Reading some contract filled to the brim with "whereas the party of the first part asserts to the party of the second part" is just dull. It lessens understanding, even if you can show off your vocabulary to the max as well as confuse the issue.

So how can you improve your legal writing and drafting? There are many ways.

First, as the Red King from Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland said, "begin at the beginning, go to the end, then stop." In other words, be plain and straightforward. Being cute or clever when it isn't necessary can be distracting. Plain, clear English is what you need — not too much Latin and five-syllable words.

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