Gender-neutral language in your legal writing: 3 approaches #WritingLegally

Posted on 09-16-2015 by
Tags: writinglegally , legal writing , #writinglegally , Latest Headlines & Stories

Today’s society is not just one consumed by technology, but one whose younger generation have openly accepted the idea of uniqueness , especially when it comes to their gender. The recent rise of trans-genders has brought up the question of how to address them? According to California Lawyer, here are 3 ways to address this issue in your writing.

1.  Substitute the pronoun with an article or repeat the antecedent noun

Get rid of the pronoun and replace it with an article.

EX: The homeowner’s shack is not entitled to the same protection as his house.

 

The homeowner’s shack is not entitled to the same protection as the house.

 

Another route to go is to repeat the antecedent noun.

EX: The homeowner’s shack is not entitled to the same protection as his house.

 

The homeowner’s shack is not entitled to the same protection as the homeowner’s house.

 

2. Use “who” in lieu of the personal pronoun

This works well especially in a sentence that involves a conditional.

EX: If a homeowner views his shack as part of the curtilage, he can demand a warrant for its search.


A homeowner who views the shack as part of the curtilage can demand a warrant for its search.

 

3. Pluralize the pronouns

When choosing between an individual or a group, always go with group. Grouping people allows you to avoid assigning a gender to a particular person.

EX: The homeowner cannot expect his shack to be entitled to the same protection as his house

    
Homeowners cannot expect their shack to be entitled to the same protection as their house.

If you found the above tip to be helpful, you can track all of our writing content via LexTalk. Check out other LexTalk posts >>

~~~

Think your legal writing’s good? Imagine it being better. Your success depends on your writing. Writing tips to help you sharpen your legal communications. For a no-obligation free trial of Lexis® for Microsoft Office, please visit www.lexisnexis.com/microsoftoffice_lextalk

Your comment has been posted.   Close
Thank you, your comment requires moderation so it may take a while to appear.   Close