Legal Writing (2nd Edition)
by Christopher Enright
In his 1936 article 'Goodbye to Law Reviews' in 23 Virginia Law Review 38 at page 38 Fred Rodell pertinently and memorably remarked: "There are two things wrong with almost all legal writing. One is its style. The other is its content."
For the many who have been oppressed by legal writing that it nigh impossible to understand Fred Rodell has said it all. Complaints about legal writing, like billable hours, just keep mounting. To adapt the phrase from Phillipians 4:7, much legal writing 'surpasses all understanding'. This book seeks to solve the problem of lack of understanding by a two-stranded approach.
First, it contains a general account of the skill of writing. The three vital characteristics of good writing are structure, structure and structure [something that the apostles of plain English tend to overlook). This cubic requirement for structure delivers the most prized of all outcomes, clarity. Structure does this because it connects. Each word, phrase, sentence and paragraph connects with the one before and the one after. This makes a text readable because it flows, almost effortlessly, down a path paved with simplicity.
Second, the book explains the essentially legal component of legal writing. This derives from the various models for working with law. Legal writing involves describing some task for working with law [ even if the task is just organising law in order to write about it). This allows a simple technique for clear writing - adapt the method for working with law so that it becomes the structure for writing law.
236 pages softcover
About the Author
Christopher Enright is a chartered accountant, barrister and solicitor. He has lectured in law at several universities. He specialises in legal method.