Legal writing

Women on the Move

Women on the MoveNovember 26, 2012 Legal writing

I posted recently about speech patterns that undermine women’s professional authority.  This Wednesday, I’ll be speaking on a panel on communication skills for women attorneys.  The panel is part of the New York State Bar Association’s annual Women on the Move conference. (Love the name!) My panel is Communicating Effectively: Being Heard Loud and Clear. I’m excited that the organizers thought [...]

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Come “Bridge the Gap” with me

Come "Bridge the Gap" with meSeptember 28, 2012 Legal writing

  You may have heard some of the recent hubbub about law school graduates’ lack of preparation for the real world of law practice. Well, just in time for new associates to get the training they need to hit the ground running, PLI is offering a “Bridge the Gap” training program this coming Monday. (I know [...]

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Kill the zombies, free the verbs

Kill the zombies, free the verbsJuly 26, 2012 Grammar

Thoughtful legal writers generally do a good job of eliminating unnecessary uses of passive voice. So why is their writing still so abstract and dense? The culprit is nominalizations, or zombie nouns, as the beautifully named Helen Sword calls them in a post at the New York Times Opinionator blog. Just as insidious as passive voice but less [...]

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The generational split on infinitives

The generational split on infinitivesJuly 13, 2012 Grammar

So, lawyers ask me pretty regularly what the deal is with split infinitives. The deal is this: splitting infinitives is perfectly acceptable according to every respected style authority. (Grammar Girl has a nice explanation of what a split infinitive is.) But (yes, there had to be a but) plenty of very, shall we say, senior [...]

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This just in: Law schools begin teaching students to be lawyers

This just in: Law schools begin teaching students to be lawyersJuly 6, 2012 Legal writing

According to a recent American Bar Association survey of  law school curricula, schools have begun adding courses geared toward training law students in the practical skills they’ll need when they are released into the ocean as baby sharks. The National Law Journal reports on the survey response: “The survey responses reveal a renewed commitment by law schools to [...]

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