Brief writing

Thou shalt not use the word "shall."

Thou shalt not use the word "shall."May 26, 2011 Brief writing

So sayeth Bryan Garner, as explained in a recent post on Johnson, the Economist’s language blog. If you think that using shall makes contracts and statutes more official and clear, forget it. What’s wrong with shall? Let me count the reasons. It’s stuffy and exclusionary. It’s not used in everyday communication among humans. Most importantly, it has a few [...]

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New and wannabe lawyers: come to Practice-Ready program tomorrow

New and wannabe lawyers: come to Practice-Ready program tomorrowApril 5, 2011 Brief writing

I’m co-presenting a new program for new lawyers tomorrow morning (early!) at the NYC Bar. We’ll cover basic strategies for law-firm success: navigating the waters, writing effectively, and speaking confidently.   We’ve organized the program around the three stages of an assignment:  Getting a “good” assignment, presented by Eve Birnbaum, Principal, Eve Birnbaum Associates  Writing the memo (that’s [...]

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Legal writing under the influence. (Yes, that influence.)

Legal writing under the influence. (Yes, that influence.)March 18, 2011 Brief writing

Given that it’s Friday, it’s warm and sunny (finally!), and it’s 5:30 (and still warm and sunny), it’s good time for me to share this tragicomic triptych of tweets I stumbled upon when I ran a search for tweets that contain the words “legal writing,” hoping to get a sense of how the subject might [...]

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Supreme Court haiku: I’m in love

Supreme Court haiku: I'm in loveMarch 14, 2011 Brief writing

In researching Monday’s sprawling Blawg Review #302, I came across Supreme Court Haiku, a most charming blawg. (Am I really going to start using that word? Oy.) The blog is as simple and delightful as its name suggests, and as haiku itself.  The blog’s tagline: the law of the land in seventeen syllables.  They’ve got haikus about [...]

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