Need to refine your legal writing? The 10th Circuit Court judge shares his advice

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The Modern Law Library

Need to refine your legal writing? The 10th Circuit Court judge shares his advice

There is a lot of conventional wisdom about what makes a good legal brief or judicial opinion. Judge Robert E. Bacharach of the Denver-based 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals says when judges socialize, their conversations often turn into discussions about the language and writings they like or despise .

But Bacharach decided he wanted to dig deeper to see what the science of psycholinguistics could teach lawyers and judges about how written words persuade an audience. The result was his new book, Legal Writing: A Judge’s Perspective on the Science and Rhetoric of Writing, published by the ABA.

Legal drafting is a thin volume, but it is full of advice. It considers details as microscopic as a serif on a letter and as macroscopic as how to create an outline for an argument. In this episode of Modern Law Library podcast, Bacharach discusses his own writing process, shares his key learnings from the psycholinguists he consulted, and offers his advice to young litigants.

Legal Writing: A Judge’s Perspective on the Science and Rhetoric of Writing is available from the ABA Bookstore in paper or e-book version. The code “LGLFBRA” can be used on the site until August 31 for a 20% discount.

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