Great Legal Writing: Lessons from Literature



Author(s): Max Barrett

Publication date: Feb 2023

Format: Hardback

ISBN: 9781787429499


Legal prose is often a more pedestrian venture than a novel or a poem. However, even the pedestrian can be done well. The views of the professional writers considered in this book identify how lawyers can write legal prose well, and sometimes even beautifully.

This book provides key lessons on legal writing that can be gleaned from various leading authors of the past and brought to bear in crafting more polished legal texts. Among the great authors considered are Joseph Conrad, Guy de Maupassant, E.M. Forster, Thomas Hardy, Henry James, D.H. Lawrence, Robert Louis Stevenson and Virginia Woolf. Central themes identified are:

Legal writing should never be too difficult to understand;
Great writers have much to teach the legal writer;
Good writing requires hard work;
Professional jargon is generally best avoided; and
The truth is always pure, often simple, and generally best expressed in plain English.

This book contains invaluable guidance to help all those involved in legal writing to hone their writing skills, while providing an engaging tour through the works of great authors from the past.

All after-tax author royalties from this book will be donated to the Ukrainian relief efforts of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent movement.


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