Legal Writing

You’ve heard “Who, What, When, Where, How, Why” – Who cares? You care, if you want the judge to care. The two I see missing from most legal papers are (In order of importance):

  • Why – For every legal point, always explain the why. Don’t be afraid to use the word because. If you’re stating a point, you must explain why it applies.
  • How

Good headings show you’ve thought out your arguments well in advance – One of my favorites. I always use headings for important paragraphs which makes reading motions and legal briefs easier and quicker. When you want to judge to rule in your favor, make it easier for the judge to read!

Professor Allison Ortlieb’s Bluebook Videos – Video lessons at Youtube on using the Bluebook.

1L’s Guide to the Bluebook – Professor Trace McGaugh (27.5 minutes)

Using the Bluebook – Boston University School of Law Libraries

How to Format Pleadings

How to Format Pleadings – More tips on how to format legal pleadings, expanding on the video above.