The Case for Effective Legal Writing

Court Opinions, Commentary, and Exercises

by Diana J. Simon, Mark Cooney

Forthcoming April 2024

Tags: Legal Writing

Table of Contents (PDF)

2024 Teacher's Manual forthcoming

ISBN 978-1-5310-2833-6
eISBN 978-1-5310-2834-3

Welcome to a book that brings the courthouse to the legal writing classroom. The Case for Effective Legal Writing is the first of its kind, a text that connects writing technique to real-world consequences. In its pages, you'll find dozens of court cases in which writing technique determined the outcome or was otherwise significant—cases proving that the finer points of writing mechanics and legal style aren't trivial or mere fancies of personal taste. In short, this book will be Exhibit A when professors tell students that legal writing is every bit as important as the doctrinal law it shapes.

The book devotes chapters to writing techniques and issues that law students invariably wrestle with: tone, diction, succinctness, grammar, syntax, punctuation, and more. Each chapter features an illustrative case or cases, edited for readability and focus. The case excerpts are preceded by explanatory passages and are followed by notes, questions, and practical exercises.

The book is sure to prompt rich and useful conversations in and out of the classroom. And the writing lessons that emerge will stick, given their newly evident real-world implications. After reading these cases, students will never again see usage, mechanics, and style as ancillary afterthoughts.

Professors can use this book in any legal writing course, whether a first-year offering or an advanced course. Its cases and lessons will enhance instruction on everything from memos and court briefs to contracts and legislation. It will also be a useful and practical resource for AJD, LLM, and MLS students.

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