This presentation includes discussion on the following topics:
Getting the words -rite- right: These are the most common word-usage mistakes in legal writing (and your spell-checker won’t catch them). Learn some tricks for keeping them straight. Plus, discover a nifty new tool for word nerds: Ngram viewer.
Legal writing is not what it should be: Identify and discuss the numerous causes of poor legal writing and learn to overcome them and create a plan for career-long improvement.
Citations: Yes, citations. They are often the tyranny of the inconsequential, but they serve an important function. This presentation will review The Greenbook, The Bluebook, SMALL CAPS, and citational footnotes.
Lawyers have issues: The Question Presented is a key part of a memo and an appellate brief, but does its form, format, length, or approach matter? And what can you do in a trial brief or motion? Several approaches from conventional to trendy will be reviewed.
Fun Ethics Quiz: Guess the consequences lawyers faced for poor legal writing.
Wayne Schiess is a senior lecturer at the University of Texas' School of Law and is the Director of the David J. Beck Center for Legal Research, Writing, and Appellate Advocacy.
This presentation has been approved for 3.0 of MCLE credit, including .50 hour of ethics by the State Bar of Texas’ MCLE Department.