The Best Tips to Improve your Legal Writing Skills

New to law school? If you are, the initial classes can seem confusing at first. This is because there is a big chance that people are usually unprepared for. The first thing you are going to learn is legal writing which can often be quite puzzling to understand if you do not keep up with your class.

Legal writing is a particular branch of writing that involves the analysis of some form of issue. Simultaneously, it also is used to educate and, in some cases, persuade the reader as well. Due to this, there is a very specific method of writing used when following the format. If you have been struggling to get along with your class and need some help then this is the perfect guide for you!

We are going to tell you exactly how to improve your writing ability and that way you will be able to excel in any class.

Always use the Active Voice

Active voice, in general, is the preferred form of writing for an article or essay. The reason is quite simple as well, active voice allows the writer to deliver a much more impactful and concise message through their sentence. When writing in the active voice, it is always important that you keep the subject of the sentence the one who is doing the action. Consider the sentence, “The boy picked up the phone.” The sentence is short and neat and allows the message – boy picking up the phone – to be delivered much more easily. This is why you should always use the active voice when writing any legal paper.

Keeping it Concise

In line with the message of the last tip, you would ideally want to keep your sentences and paragraphs short and precise. This is because short sentences are better for keeping the attention of the reader exactly where you want it. It also helps them in remembering what information you are trying to convey, as the information of the sentence is not drawn out and mixed in with unnecessary details.

The issue with long sentences is simple, they are very long. To the human brain, when it sees long, unending sentences, attention is naturally lost and instead focus goes on to something completely else. Remember that this is your paper and you do not want to make the reader do the work of finding the information.

If the reader has to find the point you are trying to convey then it is obvious that their attention will drift and they will get bored of your paper. If you are writing a law dissertation or presenting your case to a judge, it is quite harmful to you if their attention drifts from your paper. So always remember to keep your sentences concise so you can deliver the information quickly and easily.

Do not use Contractions

This is a small and obvious point, but do not use contracted words such as ‘don’t.’ It is highly unappealing to look at in the middle of a formal paper and can turn the reader’s opinion about your paper completely around. At such a level, it is expected you know this and refrain from carrying it out. So even if it is a small point, we are throwing it in there so you remember for sure!

Pronoun Game

Always make sure to never use first-person pronouns. It is as simple as that, first-person pronouns can completely ruin your paper. This is because legal papers, rather, almost all academic papers never use first-person pronouns. If you are, then you should immediately stop as it is considered extremely informal.

In turn, you should also try and avoid using only pronouns in a sentence as well. The pronouns ‘they, them, him, we, us’ can be extremely confusing when strung together in a sentence with no context. That is why, to avoid any confusion or unprofessionalism in your paper, use the correct and right amount of pronouns!

Check and then Re-check

Always leave time before the deadline of your paper to check it once so that you can go through it properly and correct any grammatical or punctuation errors. Reviewing your work once more can also help identify any parts of your paper which may lack information or where you can add more. It is extremely important that you do this so make sure to leave time in the end!

Conduct research thoroughly

Research is the soul of any paper or writing. You must have strong research skills and subject matter expertise before picking up the pen to write any legal document. Having access to rare books, journals, and papers can make your paper credible.

Always remember to learn about citation techniques and keep yourself updated with them. You should cite every resource you are using to avoid plagiarism. 

Keep it professional 

Since you are writing the most professional document regarding the law, your writing tone and style must be professional and to the point. Avoid using examples and different perspectives if not necessary. The best way to polish it even more is to edit and revise it until it becomes flawless.

Edit the content several times

Experts say you can not write a perfect document or essay in one go. You must write several drafts to get the most polished version of your content. And when you have the responsibility to write something related to law and legislation, things become more tough. So, attention to detail is paramount.

Follow a structure

In any writing (except free-style journaling), you must follow a structure. Whether writing a formal document, an essay, or an assignment, you must understand how to navigate the structure and amend it according to your style. 

The most common structure to writing any document is an opening paragraph, body content or main body, and closing paragraph. You can add more sections to this content according to your requirements.

Do not use jargon

Jargon will only make the content more heavy and dry to read for the masses. If you are writing something that has to do with the public, always use simple language. Writing complex sentences and complicated and technical terms hurt the readability of the content. 

Keep yourself informed and updated

Since you are working in the niche of law writing, you must know what is happening in the society. Stay informed about changes in legal writing conventions and style. Legal writing evolves, and staying current ensures your work is relevant and fresh. 

Proofread thoroughly

Before submitting any document, proofread it carefully for errors. Typos and grammatical mistakes can detract from the professionalism of your work.

Ask for Help!

As a final tip, we would like to tell you to never be ashamed of asking for help. We at Law Writing always extend our help to any student who is in need of it. We are a professional paper writing service that has helped a countless number of students from the United Kingdom and all over the world. So do not hesitate, contact us now!