Legal Writing is About Being Human

Legal Writing is About Being Human

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Listen folks, if you can’t sound like a human being then you’re in the wrong business.

Get rid of redundant words that only lawyers use, start sounding like a person, and be a legal writer that brings humanity into the profession, not one that distances us.

Transcript – Legal Writing Tips

Hey there, it’s Chris again from with another episode of Non-Billable, where I give you 3 minutes of questions and answers, rants, or advice to help young lawyers in day-to-day practice.

Today a bit of a rant about redundant words.

If you are going to write letters, if you are going be a wordsmith, if you are going to be a communicator – and as a lawyer, you should be – then for the love of everything, would you stop using redundant words.

Starting every single sentence of a paragraph with “We note that” doesn’t make you clever, it doesn’t make you sound sophisticated; it makes it sounds like you can’t think of a way to actually start the sentence. “We note this,” “We note that,” “We note the other thing.”

Guess what? Try harder. You can cross those words out almost every single time without changing the meaning anyway whatsoever. Just get rid of them.

More redundant words, “We advise that”. That’s an interesting thing, isn’t it? Try crossing that out.

Watch how nothing changes in the sentence. You’re just wasting words, you’re sounding like people think lawyers should sound rather than writing like a human being.

Have you ever written an e-mail to your mom saying, “Mom, I note that it was your birthday recently. I would like to advise that I’m going to wish you a happy birthday.” No. You know why? Because you’d sound like a moron.

Don’t do it. Sound like a real person, write like a real person, not like you think a lawyer is supposed to sound. End rant. That’s Non-Billable.