Legal Writing

264 ABA Journal Legal Writing articles.

‘Persnickety dude’ government lawyer points out New York Times typos on Twitter
An anonymous appellate lawyer who describes himself as a “persnickety dude” tweets typos from the New York Times as a hobby.
Ohio associate with a love of writing wins ABA Journal’s 2020 Ross essay contest for legal fiction

A short story about the first lawyer in a close-knit Black family has been named the winner of the 2020 ABA Journal/Ross Writing Contest for Legal Short Fiction. The author is Daniel M. Best, an associate at Gallagher Sharp in Columbus, Ohio.

How to make the most of your time during the pandemic

Regardless of whether Shakespeare used playhouse closings to write great drama, it’s worth asking yourself: What should I do during periods of isolation? Bryan A. Garner, the president of LawProse Inc., explores.

Did Justice Sotomayor goof with ‘little if nothing’ phrase? Stickler law prof sees error
A law professor who considers himself a stickler on proper use of the English language has written to U.S. Supreme Court Justice Sonia Sotomayor about a phrase she used in a dissent this month.
What does police abolition look like?

Alex S. Vitale explains the troubling origins of modern policing, why commonly suggested reforms like training and increased diversity have not been successful, and much more.

Lawyers are the directors and set designers of their courtroom dramas

Litigation unfolds upon a stage in the theater of the courtroom. And while combative, compulsive and closed litigation stories are constrained and shaped by evidentiary and legal rules and the meticulous presentation of factual evidence, lawyers are nevertheless the producers, directors and set designers of their own theatrical courtroom dramas.

‘Good English’ always has been a path to the legal profession

Should schoolchildren be taught standard English grammar? The traditional view, of course, is yes. The contrary position is we shouldn’t insist people learn standard written English. Instead, we should teach everyone to be tolerant of regional and class dialects—not just accents but dialects.

Meet 9 American women shortlisted for the Supreme Court before Sandra Day O’Connor
As early as the 1930s, presidents were considering putting the first woman on the U.S. Supreme Court. So, who were these other candidates on the short list, and why did it take until 1981 for Sandra Day O'Connor to become the first female justice?
Journalist investigating wrongful convictions turns lens on white-collar criminal case in Chicago

In this new episode of the Modern Law Library podcast, Maurice Possley speaks with the ABA Journal’s Lee Rawles about his investigation of Michael Segal, his writing partnership with Segal, and how Chicago city politics impacted the case.

Trump and his 3,500 suits: Prosecutor and author reveals in interview his portrait of ‘Plaintiff in Chief’

Former federal prosecutor and author James D. Zirin illuminates more than 45 years of Trump’s legal disputes in his new book, Plaintiff in Chief: A Portrait of Donald Trump in 3,500 Lawsuits. Zirin recently answered some questions from Robin Lindley, a Seattle-based writer and lawyer.

If you’re a lawyer who’s not writing and editing like a pro, get to work

“In my office, colleagues are evaluated on the worth of their edits: Everyone is expected to make the types of edits that professionals at the copy desks of major magazines would make. The idea is that the final product should sing,” says Bryan A. Garner, president of LawProse Inc.

State supreme court gives 2-year suspension for lawyer who forged signatures of judge and clerk

The Kansas Supreme Court has suspended a lawyer, who forged the signatures of a judge and a clerk, for two years. In its Feb. 28 opinion, the court said its suspension of Laurel Kupka is “warranted given the serious nature of the respondent’s acts.”

Lawyer, author and founder of program for wrongfully convicted dies at 52
Laura Caldwell, a lawyer, author and founder of a project that supported the wrongfully convicted, died Sunday after a long battle with breast cancer.
Afternoon Briefs: Some of Justice Scalia’s papers are now public; House lifts ERA deadline

Some of Justice Scalia’s papers are now publicly available

The legal and academic papers of the late U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia are now available for public viewing, at…

Legal writers can learn a lot from these unparalleled unpublished opinions

In Bryan A. Garner’s view, Judge Thomas M. Reavley of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals shows us how to spend more time thinking and less time writing.

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