8 Writing Tips for Legal Document
When studying Law in college, one has to be ready to deal with lots of writing. According to experts, legal writing makes up a big part of an attorney’s job. So, learning how to handle it the right way is crucial for building a successful career in the future. And that’s why most schools will really focus on helping you train your skills.
But how do you handle it? Whether it is a paper or a document on Law, producing a high-quality piece can be quite challenging. Thus, to help you get on the right track, we’ve collected some handy tips.
Know That You Can Get Professional Help
When the task seems too hard or when you lack time for completing it, pushing yourself too hard can actually be counterproductive. So, instead of doing so, it can make pretty good sense to ask for help. At services like WritePaper.com, students can hire professional academic writers with MA and Ph.D. degrees in various fields, including Law. And doing so can help you in multiple ways.
First of all, receiving professional assistance will, of course, get you a high grade. Experts from WritePaper will create a top-level paper for you in no time, so you will be guaranteed to get a high grade, while saving lots of your time. But that’s not all!
Delegating your Law assignments also has a practical purpose. By doing so, students will receive an example of a paper or document written to the highest standard. Later, they will be able to use this example to hone their own legal writing skills.
Know Your Purpose
If you decide to handle the given assignment on your own, the first tip you should follow is to always know your purpose. Whether working on a Law paper, letter, or any other document, knowing the ultimate purpose is the most important for achieving success.
Thus, before you get to writing, you should ask yourself why you are doing it in the first place. Some common reasons might be to inform, persuade, evaluate, etc. Depending on the purpose you define, you might want to change the tone of voice, structure, or other elements of your document. So, don’t skip this step. Knowing the purpose will help you get better at writing.
Understand Your Audience
Even when working on an assignment for college and knowing that it will be read by your professor or fellow students, it is still important to understand to whom a particular document is supposed to appeal. It might be another attorney, judge, client, etc. Obviously, different recipients will have different levels of law expertise and, thus, different expectations.
Knowing your audience and understanding its needs and expectations will inform you on how they will read your work. This will help you define the right word choice, tone, and style, as well as the level of detail that should be inherent in your document.
Do Some Research
While you are a student, it is clear that you will have to do some research before working on your assignment. But, the truth is that in-depth research will be just as important in your future career. It is the key to good legal writing. So, you should never give up on the following tip.
Regardless of the type of document you are working on, be sure to read any provided material and thoroughly study a particular legal issue that you are going to focus on in your writing. To do your research right, feel free to use special tools like:
- Legal Information Institute;
- FastCase, etc.
Apart from these handy tools, you might also want to use law reports, academic journals, and legal dictionaries. All these things will come in handy during your research.
Stick With the Active
Another helpful tip to take your legal writing to the next level is to stick with the active voice. Whether for school or in your career, the documents you create should use the active voice for a number of reasons. First of all, it is easier to understand for readers. Secondly, it helps you write more concisely. And, finally, the active voice is much clearer.
The passive voice, on the contrary, isn’t so clear. According to experts, it can make readers struggle to figure out what you are trying to say. And it is not very concise either. So, try to avoid it in your writing.
Stay Away From Ambiguity
Students often use words like “this,” “that,” “it,” “which,” and “such” to refer to a previously mentioned idea or subject in subsequent sentences. Doing so can seem to make sense to avoid tautology. However, it doesn’t work well in law documents.
In this particular industry, such words can create ambiguity. Simply put, they can cause confusion and make it harder for readers to follow your ideas. Thus, experts recommend avoiding such words in your papers.
Strive for Clarity
Tricky phrases, fancy words, double negatives – these and other literary tricks might be used in certain forms of writing. But not when you are writing on legal topics. They can confuse readers and hold them back from grasping the core ideas you are presenting. So, the tip is to avoid this.
Also, be sure to avoid using too long or intricate sentences. They take too much space and kill clarity. Instead, try to stick to simple and concise formulations.
Finally, be sure to avoid the biggest mistake – don’t think that you have to use pompous and verbose language to sound like a real lawyer. Actually, you have to do the opposite. Your core goal is to make your argument clear and easy to understand. Write in plain English and strive for clarity. These are the keys to success.
Finally, one last tip we have for you is to always proofread and edit your documents carefully. There should be no typos, mistakes, wrong word choices, or other issues that might hurt the overall quality of your document.
Take enough time to read your papers thoroughly. And don’t hesitate to use available tools to edit your texts with ease.
The Bottom Line
While in college and later in your career, writing will be an integral element of your legal practice. Specialists in this field always have to deal with a wide variety of papers and documents that they have to write themselves. And that’s the biggest reason why Law schools make such a big emphasis on writing assignments. So, if you are studying this major, there is no way you can avoid such tasks.
Without any doubt, legal writing is not a piece of cake. It takes time and skills to master. But, the good news is that you can get better at it with the help of the tips we shared with you in this guide. So, be sure to use them in practice.
One last thing we want to say at the end of our guide is that, as David Howard Spratt, a professor from American University Washington College of Law, once said – the process of legal writing can never be “one size fits all.” Thus, feel free to use the tips. But try to define a process that fits you best, and then you will reach the top!