The Science Behind the Art of Legal Writing

Second Edition

by Catherine J. Cameron, Lance N. Long

Tags: Legal Writing

Table of Contents (PDF)

Teacher's Manual available

164 pp  $25.00

ISBN 978-1-5310-0774-4
eISBN 978-1-5310-0775-1

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What evidence exists to support the advice that legal writing professors offer their students? For example, do legal readers really prefer short sentences and the active voice? Is outlining the best way to start a memo or brief? Can a certain font type make a brief more persuasive? Is deductive reasoning the most effective form of legal reasoning? Will a legal writer view the use of the word "clearly" with skepticism? Are judges annoyed by minor grammatical errors or typos? These questions and many more are addressed in The Science Behind the Art of Legal Writing.

This text provides easy access to research in the form of social psychological experiments, statistical analyses, and surveys (some done by others and some done by the authors), which suggest that much of the advice given to legal writing students is backed by solid science. As a supplemental text for a first-year legal writing course, or as a primary text for an advanced legal writing course, The Science Behind the Art of Legal Writing provides the evidence—besides saying "because I told you so"—for requiring students to follow many common legal writing conventions.

As the first comprehensive compilation of research addressing legal writing, The Science Behind the Art of Legal Writing provides a much-needed resource to legal writing professionals. The second edition updates the research in the first addition and adds chapters addressing the science of passive voice and the effect of legal training on how students read legal text.

Praise for the first edition:

"Even when incorporating the scientific elements of writing, this book is highly readable and well paced. In fact, the explanations not only embrace their scientific roots but the underlying philosophy as well, including chapters on deductive reasoning and syllogisms. This adds to the appeal of the book, especially for those less inclined to a scientific read...Overall, Cameron and Long have created a book that is valuable for first-year law students and legal scholars alike. Its insights bring new life into old legal writing wisdom. The book's well-organized discussions on everything from outlining to the ethics of legal writing make this a great addition to a legal writing collection." — Amy Lipford, Law Library Journal, Vol. 107:4

Praise for the second edition:

"The Science Behind the Art of Legal Writing is a book that belongs in every academic law library collection and every legal writing professor's office. In the introduction, the authors acknowledge the plethora of legal writing texts available to complement any legal writing program, but this is the first to explain the science behind the directives given by legal writing professors and legal writing textbooks. It is a one-stop shop for learning and understanding the science behind legal writ-ing, where students can learn to make informed and logical choices on how to structure their legal writing." — Whitney A. Curtis, Law Library Journal, Vol. 112:3

Comp Copy If you are a professor teaching in this field you may request a complimentary copy.