Clarity and precision in legal writing are essential skills in the practice and study of law. This book offers a straightforward, practical guide to effective legal style from a world-leading expert.
The book is thoughtfully structured to explain the elements of good legal writing and its most effective use. It catalogues all aspects of legal style, topic by topic, phrase by phrase, usage by usage. It scrutinises them all, suggesting improvements. Its 'dictionary' arrangement makes it easy to navigate.
Topics range as widely as ambiguity, definitions, provisos, recitals, simplified outlines, terms of art, tone, and the various principles of legal interpretation. Words and phrases deal with legal expressions that non-lawyers find opaque and obscure. The purpose is to show that you can usually substitute a plain-English equivalent. Usage entries include matters such as abbreviations, acronyms, active and passive voice, brackets, bullet points, citation methods, cross-referencing, deeds, fonts, document design, footnotes, gender-neutral language, numbering systems, plain language, punctuation, the use of Latin, structures for legal advices and documents, and techniques for editing and proofreading.
With an emphasis on technical effectiveness and understanding, the book is required reading for all those engaged in the practice and study of law.