Question of the Week

What are some of your go-to words and phrases in your legal writing?


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This week, we wrote about computer scientists who developed an algorithm to help discern the authors of unsigned U.S. Supreme Court opinions. The program analyzed signed opinions and identified words, phrases and sentence structure characteristic of each justice‚Äôs writing style. For instance, it determined that Justice Antonin Scalia likes to use the word “utterly,” while Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg likes to start sentences with “notably.”

What would this algorithm reveal about you? What are some of the go-to words and phrases in your legal writing? Alternatively, are there sentence constructions or words that you always try to avoid using?

Answer in the comments.

Read the answer to last week’s question: Have you ever heard sexist remarks while working as a lawyer?

Featured answer:

Posted by FarmGirl: “My all-time favorite was said at a firm lunch meeting about 10 years ago by a male partner who was sitting across the table from me (a female associate). He said: ‘I don’t know why we hire all these women lawyers, they just want to find someone rich and get married.’ “

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