Beyond the First Draft helps law students and lawyers approach the often difficult task of editing their own writing. The book starts with the fundamental idea that good writing is organized, vigorous, clear, and polished. Its ultimate goal is to help students and practitioners understand that good writing cannot be accomplished in a single draft; good writers must be good editors.
Each chapter of the book is organized around one of the principles of good writing and begins with an editing checklist for accomplishing that principle of good writing. The book explains each item in the checklist, providing both students and lawyers with the instruction and straightforward editing tips that they need to become effective editors.
Beyond the First Draft was written with law students, practitioners, and legal writing professors in mind. Its straightforward approach makes even those difficult-to-understand grammatical concepts accessible to everyone through frequent, easy-to-understand reminders, explanations, and examples.
The updated second edition of the book includes a new introduction that helps writers think about the ways in which language evolves over time and puts the book's expanded coverage of pronouns into context. In addition, this new introduction will give professors and students alike the opportunity to think critically about the ways in which the formal written English of legal writing differs from both informal written and spoken English.