Elegant legal writing

How lawyers can convey their ideas in a clear, logical, and inviting manner.

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Welcome to Elegant Legal Writing, a blog (and book-in-progress) that shows lawyers and law students how to convey their ideas in a clear, logical, and inviting manner.

Last year, I designed and taught an Advanced Legal Writing seminar at the UCLA School of Law. I read as many books on writing style and legal writing as I could, then condensed what I had learned into resources for my students. Now I want to share what I have learned with you.

I believe in teaching legal writing through short, easily digestible lessons containing authentic examples from legal documents. I want to help my readers learn to identify flaws in legal drafts and improve their organization, word choice, sentence and paragraph construction, tone, and other aspects of craft.

In addition to teaching writing fundamentals, Elegant Legal Writing — this blog and the future book — will discuss parts of legal writing that are often overlooked, including productivity, writing technology, mechanics, style, and document presentation. For example, future posts will teach readers how to overcome procrastination, create forward-moving sentences with appropriate breath units and emphasis, and format their documents in an attractive, typographically sound way that impresses judges and clients.

Writing is the most important skill for lawyers, and Elegant Legal Writing will help law students and attorneys become more skillful and confident communicators. Subscribe for free to receive new posts in your inbox:

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Ryan McCarl teaches Advanced Legal Writing and researches artificial intelligence law and policy at the UCLA School of Law. He is also a partner at the law firm Rushing McCarl. You can follow him on LinkedIn and Twitter as well as his personal blog.