06 Most Common Mistakes In Legal Research And Writings
Law students are subject to word-count limits, and lawyers, too, face word-count or page-count limits for documents submitted to courts.
Too Many Arguments
Lawyers should put in time and effort to determine their most persuasive points, rather than forcing the judge to waste time winnowing out less effective arguments. Choose your best three or four arguments, and write them well.
Legal concepts and arguments can be tricky, so simple and clear language is critical in your writing. Precision and clarity not only help your reader understand your meaning but also make your point more persuasive.
Misplaced commas, run-on sentences, and missing apostrophes are all too common both in law students’ and lawyers’ writing. Take time to follow the rules of grammar and also to check for typos or misspellings.
If a writer cannot get the details right in a citation, the writer cannot be trusted to state the law accurately or make a well-thought argument. You need a citation for any statement of law, even if your sentence also includes argument.
Use Of Contractions
An example of a contraction is saying “isn’t” instead of “is not.” In legal writing, you should avoid contractions. Rather than saying, “the defendant wasn’t at the scene,” it is better to say, “the defendant was not at the scene.”
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