14 Things I Love About Legal Writing

You don’t need to be a lawyer to appreciate the art of legal writing. You may find that many aspects of writing for law and other professions overlap with your own life as a writer. And if there’s one thing that I’ve learned from my years of experience in the legal field, it’s that something can always be learned from every situation we encounter. 

So whether you’re an aspiring lawyer or just enjoy learning more about the craft of writing, here are 40 things I love about legal writing:

Write Like the Best Legal Writers Part 1 of 2 – YouTube
1. Precise articulation of legal arguments.
2. Crafted narratives that engage the reader.
3. Impactful use of legal language and terminology.
4. Ability to distill complex ideas into clarity.
5. Balancing creativity with adherence to law.
6. Crafting compelling opening statements.
7. Developing persuasive and logical reasoning.
8. Skillful incorporation of case precedents.
9. Engaging legal research to strengthen content.
10. Structuring content for effective readability.
11. Mastery of citation styles and references.
12. Shaping legal documents with professionalism.
13. Making persuasive appeals to legal authorities.
14. A continuous journey of learning and growth.

The Most Important Thing Is A Good Lead

The most important thing is a good lead. A good leader is the most interesting part of your article, and it also summarizes what you’re going to say in the body of your paper. 

This means that if you can make your reader want to read more after their first exposure to your topic, then they’ll be more likely to read through the entire essay (or at least get all the way through until they decide they don’t care anymore).

One thing I do when I’m brainstorming ideas for my leads is to ask myself questions like “What’s something in this topic that sounds cool?” or “What would make someone want to keep reading?

Another question I sometimes ask myself is “Do I know anyone who could provide me with some insight into this topic?” If so, asking them would be a great way for them to get involved without making any commitment on their part they just need an email address and maybe an hour or two of their time!

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Start Your Piece With A Hook (Eg. A Quote)

Now that you have a lead, it’s time to get the message across. The hook that you use in your introduction should be something interesting or relevant to your argument and/or the topic of your paper. This can be an anecdote, quote, statistic, or another fact that will grab the reader’s attention and help them stay with you for what comes next.

Getting Down To Business: What Does Research Look Like?

Now on to the meat of your argument! It is important that as soon as possible in this section of text (after hooking readers), you give them some sort of evidence from research (or other sources) so they know why what they are reading is true – don’t make them wait until later! 

One way I like doing this is using quotes from books about my topic giving myself credibility by providing quotes from experts who have spent lots more time thinking about these issues than I does wonder to convince people that I know what I’m talking about!

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Recount A Story That Illustrates What You’re Writing About

A good story can make a boring topic interesting. It’s hard to deny the power of storytelling, which is why we teach kids about it early on. Stories allow us to relate to the material in more meaningful ways and help us remember what we learn.

But you don’t need to write a novel or tell an epic tale for stories to enhance your legal writing. I think that even some of the most straightforward pieces of legal writing are enhanced by adding just one well-placed anecdote or example from real life (or from your own life). 

The goal with using stories in this way isn’t necessarily for the reader to enjoy reading what you’ve written more than without them it’s simply about improving their understanding of the concepts at hand and making them better able to apply those concepts when faced with similar situations down the line.

Timing Is Crucial

One of the most essential elements of persuasive writing is timing. The best way to get your point across is to make sure that it comes at a time when it’s relevant and important to your audience. If you don’t, then even if you have the clearest idea in the world, people won’t read it because they probably won’t care about what’s being said (or they’ll think they already know).

Timing matters even more when working on legal documents because lawyers are often drafting documents under strict deadlines. And if there is one thing I’ve learned over my years as a lawyer: nothing kills creativity like a deadline! 

That’s why we need tools like Legal Writing Pro so we can find inspiration and ideas wherever we go even on vacation!–and turn them into polished legal drafts faster than ever before.

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Use Concrete, Not Abstract Words

You can make your writing more engaging by using concrete words, not abstract ones. Abstract words are vague and non-specific, whereas concrete words are specific and give the reader a better idea of what you are writing about.

Many people think that abstract words like “love” or “fear” are more powerful than concrete ones like “smile” or “rage,” but that’s not always true especially when it comes to legal writing. 

The opposite is true: using concrete language is often more effective than using abstract language because it allows readers to grasp exactly what an author is talking about efficiently.

For example, consider this sentence: “The admissions office at Harvard University invites you to apply for admission.” This sentence uses an abstract word (invites) instead of a concrete one (applies). 

As a result, the reader has no idea what the writer means by “to apply for admission” because there isn’t any information about how he or she should do so; all that’s clear from this sentence is that someone called “Harvard University” wants him/her to do something! 

Now consider this alternative: “The admissions office at Harvard University wants you to complete its application form before June 1st.

In this revision of our original sentence with its abstract use of invokes as opposed to applies, we’ve clarified both what kind of document we’re talking about as well as how long it will take before being accepted into school; now our reader understands exactly what needs doing before being accepted into school without needing any further explanation from us!

You Should Write For An Audience, Not Yourself

The best way to write for your audience is to forget about yourself and write for them.

It’s important to remember that there’s a difference between writing for yourself and writing for an audience. When you’re writing something just because you want it, you’re probably not doing it right. 

But when you can get outside of your headspace and try to imagine what someone else might need or want from the information they’re reading that’s when things start working out well!

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Use Strong Verbs And Active Voice

Active voice is more direct and engaging than passive voice, which can be wordy. Using active voice makes it easier to read, understand, remember, explain, teach and learn. Active voice also keeps you from sounding like a boring textbook. 

Instead of saying “The court ruled that the plaintiff had failed to prove his case” or “We hold that the defendant did not commit any negligence in this matter,” use strong verbs instead: “The court dismissed the plaintiff’s complaint without prejudice.”

Vary your sentence structure to keep things interesting for readers and also for yourself as a writer!

Vivid Examples Are Better Than Long Lists

One of the best ways to learn something is by example. When you can see an example, it becomes more memorable and you have a better chance of understanding what the concept means. This is especially true when the examples are vivid, interesting, precise, persuasive, or even efficient.

Because of these benefits, I love using vivid examples in my writing and I want to teach you how to use them as well!

Beware Of Clichéd Phrases And Diction

Let’s face it: clichéd phrases, hackneyed expressions, and empty words can date your writing. So why not avoid them?

Here are some tips for avoiding clichés in legal writing:

Avoid overused words and phrases. The word ‘fascinating’ is overused in law school, but if you use it too much in your papers, you run the risk of sounding like a snob who finds everything but herself fascinating. Instead, try to be original!

You should also be careful about jargon—if your reader doesn’t know what you are talking about, then they won’t understand what point you’re trying to make. Try using plain English instead of jargon when possible; this will help readers understand what’s going on without having to look up definitions elsewhere (which takes time away from reading).

Avoid hackneyed expressions such as “in my opinion” or “as per usual.” These kinds of phrases do not add anything new or interesting to the discussion; instead, they merely state the obvious by repeating information that has been stated earlier in the sentence. 

For example: “I believe that this is a good idea because it does not cost much money” would be better written as “This idea does not cost much money.”

Get To The Point Quickly

I can’t tell you how many times I have read an introduction that was so long, that it made me want to zone out. The reality is, though, that if someone is reading your writing for the first time, they probably don’t care about who wrote it or why. 

They just want to know what it says and whether or not they need to pay attention. So write as clearly as possible in order to get right into the meat of your discussion without wasting valuable space before getting there.

Use Short Paragraphs, Short Sentences, and Short Words

The second major thing I love about legal writing is its simplicity.

Legal writing can seem intimidating at first, but once you get the hang of it, it’s straightforward to understand. One reason for this is that legal documents tend to be written in short sentences and paragraphs (which I’ll talk more about in a bit). 

This is so important because when people read something long or complicated, they don’t want to keep reading they just want everything spelled out so they can figure it out themselves. The last thing they want to do is keep going back and forth between their computer screen and their notes trying desperately not

to lose their train of thought while simultaneously trying not

to fall asleep!

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Keep Sentences Short And Simple

The first thing you should know about sentences is that they have a direct impact on your writing’s readability. The longer a sentence is, the harder it will be for your reader to understand. This is because when you use longer sentences there are more words in each one and that increases the likelihood of confusion and misunderstanding.

Short sentences are easier to read because they make it easy for readers to keep track of what’s going on in your text and where they are about other ideas or information related to your topic.

Good Writing Can Transform A Boring Topic Into Something Worthwhile And Entertaining

Good writing can make a boring topic interesting. It does this by using short sentences, short paragraphs, and short words. 

You also want to use concrete words instead of abstract ones because people can picture concrete things like a dog or an apple better than they can picture something abstract like “happiness” or “peace.” And when you use strong verbs instead of weak ones (like “to be” verbs), the sentence reads more clearly and powerfully.

Finally, good legal writing uses active voice rather than a passive voice for example: “The judge ruled that versus “…was ruled by the judge.” Active voice makes your writing more vigorous than passive voice does by putting the actor before his action (in this case: “the judge”) as opposed to hiding him behind it (“ruled”).

Good legal writers also make their work vivid with examples and details rather than blandly stating facts without anything else to hold onto while reading them


Legal writing is a great skill to have. It helps you make a difference in the world while earning money and doing something interesting and rewarding. You can find jobs all over the country, as well as in other countries. 

You can also use legal writing skills in many other professions like business or government work because so much of what those individuals do involves writing and communicating ideas clearly with others (like clients or colleagues).

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to deepen your understanding of legal writing and related topics:

14 Principles for Effective Legal Writing: Discover essential principles that can enhance the effectiveness of your legal writing.

Ten Things I Wish I’d Known as a Law Student: Gain insights and advice from experienced legal professionals on what they wish they had known during their time as law students.

How to Answer “Why Study Law?”: Find guidance on addressing the important question of why you chose to study law and how to effectively communicate your reasons.


What are the key principles for effective legal writing?

The key principles for effective legal writing involve clarity, precision, logical structure, and proper citation of legal authorities. Clear and concise communication is essential to convey legal arguments accurately.

How can I prepare for a successful career in law while studying?

To prepare for a successful legal career while studying, focus on building strong research, writing, and communication skills. Engage in internships, legal clinics, and networking opportunities to gain practical experience.

What should I consider when explaining why I want to study law in my application?

When explaining why you want to study law, emphasize your passion for justice, critical thinking skills, and desire to make a positive impact on society. Highlight personal experiences that have driven your interest in the legal field.

What are some common challenges law students face?

Law students often face challenges such as heavy workloads, complex reading materials, and high-pressure environments. Time management, effective study strategies, and seeking support from peers and professors can help overcome these challenges.

How can I improve my legal writing skills?

Improving legal writing skills requires practicing drafting legal documents, receiving feedback, and learning from experienced legal writers. Additionally, studying legal writing guides and participating in writing workshops can provide valuable insights.