Posted on 09-30-2016 by Georgia Akers

Oh my. It’s my specialty! How important are typos? Are they going to be the death of someone? Should they be? Only a few people know if my resume had a typo on it when I got hired here (I like to think there were NONE) … and I was still hired as the PROOFREADER. 1) It’s hard to proofread... Read More

Writing Mistakes
Posted on 09-16-2016 by Georgia Akers

As many students are going back to school, these Top 10 Student Writing Mistakes: Finals Edition can be used now, by everyone, in everyday writing. What are your worst offenders in your professional writing? Read More

Quotation Marks
Posted on 09-06-2016 by Georgia Akers

Are you one of those people who use “air” quotation marks? I do. But I talk a lot with my hands. It’s important to know the proper way to use quotation marks. Don’t get caught using your fingers in the air inappropriately . Grammarly can help. Read More

Bad Legal Writing Cut Down To Size In Age Of Short Attention Spans via Law360
Posted on 08-02-2016 by amanda-alge-bales

The article below has been republished in full courtesy of Law360, written by Melissa Maleske . For as long as lawyers have existed, their writing has been a subject of scorn. Philosopher Jeremy Bentham described lawyers’ writing as “excrementitious matter.” Founding father Thomas... Read More

10 writing tips that’ll retool your legal writing #writinglegally
Posted on 08-06-2015 by Chad Troyan

Have you ever read your writing and thought “I could do better”. Well, have no fear because the ABA Journal is here to help! Here are 10 tips to improve your legal writing: Be sure you understand the client's problem Make sure you ask your client plenty of questions so you have... Read More

How To Think Like A Judge And Be A Better Legal Writer via Law360
Posted on 05-20-2016 by amanda-alge-bales

The article below has been republished in full courtesy of Law360, written by Aebra Coe. To write persuasively and win court cases, lawyers need to learn to think like judges, according to an academic paper published Thursday, and while getting inside a judge’s head isn't always easy, the... Read More

Last-Year's Oscar-Winner “Spotlight”: Are We Fooled by the Facts?
Posted on 03-04-2016 by Travis Burchart

As lawyers, we work in facts, but that doesn’t mean we’re “factual”; i.e., “concerned with what is actually the case rather than interpretations of or reactions to it.” Like everyone else, our blind spot bends to story. Facts get slathered with storytelling, and... Read More

The legal blog strategy that everyone’s afraid to preach: Write less!
Posted on 02-25-2016 by Travis Burchart

“Write less” … terrible advice for a writer, right? Stephen King thinks so. He once said: If you want to be a writer, you must do two things above all others: read a lot and write a lot . Great advice for a novelist but not necessarily for a legal blogger. Before we go any... Read More

Toughen your legal writing with a poetry lesson
Posted on 02-12-2016 by Travis Burchart

Are you too lawyerly to wield a little poetry? If so, you’re neglecting a legal writing weapon. Even the Supreme Court understands the persuasive strike of verse. In Plaut v. Spendthrift Farm , 514 U.S. 211 (U.S. 1995), the majority said: Separation of powers, a distinctively American political... Read More

What NFL “rules guru” Bill Belichick can teach you about legal writing
Posted on 01-29-2016 by Travis Burchart

Writing, E. B. White said, is an “act of faith, not a trick of grammar.” The same might be said for football, that playing is an act of faith, not a trick of the rules. Coaches often preach this, that winning depends on heart and ability – what’s “inside.” It’s... Read More

“Verbalizing” Nouns: A Dangerous Business #WritingLegally
Posted on 01-12-2016 by amanda-alge-bales

The suffix “–ize” is on the loose, verbalizing and uglyizing our language. Some people think you can tack “–ize” onto any noun and create a verb; however, many nouns have no business being used as verbs. Verbalizing nouns is a dangerous business with the result... Read More

How to address a colleague’s horrible writing: 10 Tips
Posted on 12-23-2015 by amanda-alge-bales

At what point would you feel it is necessary to have a sit down with an attorney you supervise and let him (or her) know their writing is sometimes careless, and lacks legal research and analysis? If you are unsure, try taking these three additional factors into consideration: An older attorney... Read More

A writing “Christmas Carol” for the Scrooge-ish lawyer: 3 ghosts
Posted on 12-18-2015 by Travis Burchart

Writing is vital to lawyers. At LexisNexis, our #writinglegally posts rank at the top in terms of our lawyer engagement. This notwithstanding, some lawyers still sour at legal writing. “Bah humbug!” they say. Not unlike Uncle Scrooge from Dickens’ A Christmas Carol (published December... Read More

Dead On Arrival? Is the written letter really dead?
Posted on 12-07-2015 by amanda-alge-bales

The written letter –a form of communication that once was exchanged as regularly as email. These letters carried countless numbers of things from professions of love to permanent news. Letters would allow recipients time to reflect and analyze the contents before crafting a response. The sad... Read More

9 Writing Styles Epitomized by Current SCOTUS Justices [Infographic] #writinglegally
Posted on 10-16-2015 by amanda-alge-bales

“Language is the central tool of our trade…” ~ Chief Justice John Roberts, Jr. And as Chief Justice Roberts once said, "words are the building blocks of the law. If we aren’t fastidious with language it dilutes the effectiveness and clarity of the law." For those... Read More

When and how you should use lists #writinglegally
Posted on 10-15-2015 by Georgia Akers

This sentence is grammatically correct, but it doesn’t have the same punch as it does when you add bullets—Does it TWD fans: Option 1: To survive the zombie apocalypse, you should stay calm, find allies, and keep moving. Option 2: To survive the zombie apocalypse, you should: ... Read More

Your handwriting: What it reveals about you [infographic] #WritingLegally
Posted on 10-07-2015 by Christina Alge

It’s amazing the things we learn each and every day. Take for instance this: People who tend to write rounded letters tend to be creative and artistic . Additionally, people who dot the “I” high above, they tend to have a great imagination . Deriving characteristics such as the ones... Read More

Wasting your words: 5 words/phrases that muddy your writing #WritingLegally
Posted on 10-07-2015 by Chad Troyan

There are many ways to make a good first impression. A huge tool for that in the business realm is writing. Here are5 words/phrases that muddy your writing according to the Business Journal . 1. Actually This word is pointless. If something is ‘ actually happening’ , then it’s just... Read More

Lean writing = Gutting the word glut: 18 compound phrases to simplify #WritingLegally
Posted on 09-30-2015 by amanda-alge-bales

The lawyers are considered a lot of things, but one of the first things that comes to mind when describing them is this - wordy . They can take the simplest ideas that can be described in 20 or less words and take 200 words describe the same idea. So in order to avoid that, we’ve sought help of... Read More

Death by writing: 10 deadly business words/phrases #WritingLegally
Posted on 09-30-2015 by Chad Troyan

No matter who you work for, you always want them to look good, maintain a good image. One thing that could make or break your company’s image is the writing it produces and sends out to clients. If it’s bad, chances are the business won’t be good either. According to Business Know-How... Read More

Gender-neutral language in your legal writing: 3 approaches #WritingLegally
Posted on 09-16-2015 by Chad Troyan

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 ,... Read More

10 "deadly" business words/phrases you should avoid
Posted on 09-16-2015 by amanda-alge-bales

No matter who you work for, you always want them to look good, maintain a good image. One thing that could make or break your company’s image is the writing it produces and sends out to clients. If it’s bad, chances are the business won’t be good either. According to Business Know-How... Read More

3 myths that’ll wreck your workplace communications #WritingLegally
Posted on 09-16-2015 by Tracie Morris

There are countless myths we have been led to believe over our lifetime. Sometimes it’s wise to heed them while other times it can be detrimental. Here are three myths that will wreck your workplace communications according to Business Insider . 1. You should use your conversation partner’s... Read More

3 Great Cuts to Clear Up Your Writing #WritingLegally
Posted on 09-09-2015 by Christina Alge

Do you ever find yourself reading something and feel it was too wordy? If so, you are not alone. Often times people stretch out sentences by adding or using unneeded words or phrases. According to Legal Writing Pro , here are three phrases that can be cut to declutter your writing. They used excerpts... Read More

Breaking down barriers to effective communication: 2 tools - S.E.A.L. & L.A.W.S. #WritingLegally
Posted on 09-09-2015 by Tracie Morris

Communication can be like many other tasks- either you are good at it or you could use some help. If aren’t the greatest communicator there are plenty of tools out there to help. In fact, thanks to LexisNexis University Blog , here are two tools you can use to help improve your communication. ... Read More