After you've written your first draft, you'll want to make sure it's persuasive. You'll find some tips in my article "Five Steps Towards Persuasive Writing," first published in the Illinois Bar Journal.
At the (new) legal writer, Raymond Ward offers a "collection of articles on reply briefs" in response to a reader who complained in an email that "I have been unable to find any guidance with regard to developing an effective reply brief."
Ward's post merits a look. And Thanks for the link to Celia Elwell, a paralegal in Oklahoma City.
He wasn't a legal writer, but Raymond Carver had something important to say about expressing complex ideas in a simple manner:
When something feels complex or complicated to you, write it out carefully and thoughtfully, several different times if necessary, until it flows smoothly and expresses exactly what you want it to communicate and nothing else.
Carver's tip appeared in a letter to his daughter. The quote is pulled from a post about Carver at Mark Athitakis’ American Fiction Notes.
Apparently, there used to be some formal editing rule that said you had to write numbers twice, repeating them once in parentheses, like this:
Before the consolidation order, there were more than eight (8) other, separate cases on file.
With the recent amendment of the class definition, the class size increased from three thousand (3,000) to four thousand (4,000).
You still see this number-repeating idea often in legal writing. It's not necessary. The better rule is to spell out numbers one to ten, use numerals for numbers higher than 10, and forget about repeating numbers in parentheses. The revision to the two examples would look like this:
Before the consolidation order, there were more than eight other, separate cases on file.
With the recent amendment of the class definition, the class size increased from 3,000 to 4,000.