There’s no way we can deny the fact that the law field is one of the most interesting, but at the same time, the most demanding one. Being a law student is no easy feat. New terms and conditions are thrown at you daily. Adding in your coursework can make the learning process feel overwhelming and you will eagerly want to take help from a Professional Law coursework writing service.
If you’re the same as we described above, then you are not alone. Most first-year law students are unfamiliar with legal writing, even if they have some writing experience before starting law school. Due to this, their coursework is always felt like a burden to them.
You need to learn how you can improve your legal writing skills so you can write like a professional lawyer. And to help you in this learning task, we’ve compiled a list of 10 helpful legal writing tips. So you can learn this new writing discipline more smoothly. Without wasting any time, let’s jump into the fascinating world of legal writing.
Why Legal Writing Is Important?
Learning legal writing is important for law students because they will be professional lawyers in the future. Lawyers must be able to write persuasively, and they must learn how to do so so they can perform their jobs effectively.
When you’re writing as a lawyer, you’re not just writing. You are trying to persuade someone (a judge, jury, or client) that your point of view is correct. In this sense, legal writing is not just about words on the page, it’s about conveying ideas effectively with those words.
Furthermore, legal writing is a relatively new discipline. It’s also one that is growing, evolving, changing, and developing. For this communication process to work smoothly and efficiently for both the writer and the reader, good legal writers need several essential skills. And with proper guidelines and practice, you can learn how to write like a professional lawyer.
How To Read And Write Like A Professional Lawyer?
Here are 10 tips to help you read and write like a professional lawyer. Carefully go through each one of these and try to implement them in your writing.
1. Learn The Structure Of Legal Writing
Legal writing is different from other types of writing in many ways. It is more formal, precise, and concise. It’s also more analytical than narrative or expository styles of writing. Hence, legal writers also need to organize their thoughts differently than other writers do.
A good lawyer writes legal documents with a specific style and structure, using exact words to convey their meaning. You must have to learn the formal structure of legal writing first. By following a specified structure, you can organize your ideas before you write them down on paper or on your computer screen.
2. Learn To Draft A Brief For Legal Documents
It’s important to remember that drafting a brief is a skill that takes time to learn. The first step in this process is writing an outline of the facts of your case and the legal issues involved. You then need to draft your brief, which will summarize those issues and lay out the arguments you’ll make in support of them.
Your briefs are usually the first thing you write in any case because they set everything else up. The rules for drafting briefs vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. So you need to know how things work where you practice law.
3. Read Legal Writing Examples
Reading legal writing examples is a great way to learn how lawyers write. You can read all kinds of legal documents, from briefs and memoranda to motions and complaints.
When you read these documents, think about the structure of each one. How does it look? Are there headings? Is there an introduction paragraph? Does it have footnotes or appendices? What kind of citations are used in the document?
You can also read other legal writers’ work such as research papers and essays to learn the techniques they use in their writing.
4. Learn To Conduct Legal Research
Conducting legal research is a skill that can only be acquired through practice. The more you read and write, the better you will become at finding the related law. This section lists ways to find the right information for your law writing task online:
- Cases: Cases are decided court decisions that determine how a particular issue should be resolved. You can find cases by searching case law databases. You can also look at secondary sources such as books or journals. Asking a lawyer who practices in that area of law can also help.
- Statutes: Statutes are laws enacted by governing bodies such as Congress or state legislatures. They appear in print form within books called Annotated Codes. Statutes also come online in many places including LexisNexis, West law Next and FindLaw’s Legal Dictionary database (the latter two require subscriptions).
- Regulations: Regulations are rules made by government agencies rather than legislatures. They often have the force of law because there is no other way for us citizens to know what requirements apply for certain situations without these regulations being available for our inspection so we may follow them correctly when required to do so. You might need them too for your legal writing.
5. Analyzing A Legal Document
When you are analyzing the legal documents, you must focus on the author’s main idea. This will help you to determine whether or not the author has successfully made an argument in support of his or her thesis.
The next step is to analyze the reasoning behind each point that is made in an essay or article. The more points that can be supported by credible and reliable evidence, the stronger your analysis will be. Finally, look at any rhetorical devices used by the writer to enhance their argument and make it more persuasive.
6. Don’t Beat Around The Bush
Keep your focus on the main point and write in a consistent style. A good lawyer’s conclusion should be clear and concise. The legal brief is not the place to wax poetic or delve into long-winded supporting arguments. Rather, it should sum up the points made throughout the document in a few sentences. So make sure you’re clear about your point before you write it down.
The same goes for the relevant authority you have added. Anything that supports your argument will be helpful here, but remember that there’s such a thing as too much information. So only include authority that directly relates to your points.
7. Use Examples To Support Your Arguments
Always make sure to add relevant examples to support your arguments. Examples are an excellent way of demonstrating what you mean and why your point is important.
For example, you wanted to explain how a professional law firm would approach a certain case. You have to give examples of cases the firm has worked on in the past and explain how they handled them. This would show your readers exactly what kind of cases the firm deals with.
8. Break Up The Text
When you’re writing, you should use formatting techniques to break up the text so it doesn’t look like a solid block of paragraphs. These techniques will also help make your writing easier to read, which is especially important if you have a lot of information to convey in your document.
When writing in-depth legal documents such as briefs or motions, it’s helpful to use headings and subheadings. Headings separate different sections of the document and make it easier for readers to know where they are at all times.
They can also be used as subtitles when presenting arguments or legal precedents (precedents being previous court decisions that may apply) to make sure that everything contributes toward building up one clear point at a time.
Subheadings should further break down each section into smaller parts so readers can focus on reading only those parts rather than having all the information presented simultaneously from start to finish without any breaks along the way.
9. Citing To Authorities
Citing to authorities is a way to show your knowledge of an issue and the legal system as a whole. It shows the reader that you are familiar with the topic at hand, and it also shows that you could be trusted on any other legal matter.
When someone comes across this in their research, they will most likely trust the lawyer’s opinion or advice who cites his or her work more than someone who did not cite sources.
10. Establish Yourself As A Critical And Analytical Thinker
When writing a legal document, it is important to remember that the key to success is analyzing and critically evaluating the content. This is much easier said than done, however. It can be a struggle to read each sentence and consider what the author is trying to say. But you can become an expert in this if you keep practicing.
Therefore, to effectively evaluate an argument just like a professional lawyer, you must develop a clear understanding of what it means and how it works.
Complaints that new lawyers struggle with legal writing skills are not new. The reason why legal writing is not as developed as other forms of writing is that lawyers are taught little or nothing about it during law school (at least not at most schools). But you can change the norms. By incorporating these tips into your legal writings, you will improve your writing skills and be able to start writing like a professional lawyer right from your college years.