ABA Journal

Legal Writing

290 ABA Journal Legal Writing articles.

When the Supreme Court cites your amicus brief

When the U.S. Supreme Court releases a decision, the parties and their lawyers scan the opinions to determine whether they won or lost. Meanwhile, those who filed amicus curiae, or friend of the court, briefs in the case also want to know the outcome. But first, they are eager to find the answer to a different question: Did one of the justices cite my brief?

Law student who sees ‘healing and beauty’ in writing wins ABA Journal’s 2021 Ross essay contest for legal fiction

A law student in Tennessee is the winner of the 2021 ABA Journal/Ross Writing Contest for Legal Short Fiction.

Federal appeals judge criticizes disparate-impact theory; are his opinions op-ed columns?

A federal appeals judge who is attracting national attention for his “aggressive rhetoric” in legal opinions has written a concurrence criticizing disparate-impact theory, likening it to critical race theory.

How to budget your day while moving through your motions

Let’s review the situation: You’re an experienced litigator, and it’s your first day of work as assistant attorney general in your state. You’ve just finished the first of three motions that are due today. You’ve written a one-page motion to consolidate two cases in the state supreme court.

Law professor makes a case against automating legal writing in law school

Give a dozen brilliant mathematicians the same problem, and they will give you the same answer. Math has an objective truth to it; however, legal writing is different.

Films like ‘Adaptation’ can give lawyers a window into how to construct compelling narratives in court

The film Adaptation, directed by Spike Jonze and written by Charlie Kaufman, is particularly relevant for lawyers struggling with telling stories effectively both inside and outside the courtroom.

Artist-attorney uses Supreme Court opinions to create a series of blackout poems

In 2020, the International Center for Advocates Against Discrimination tapped New York lawyer Harbani Kaur Ahuja as its first artist-in-residence, commissioning her to create 40 poems over two years.

Longtime leader in legal ethics and professional responsibility will receive ABA Medal

Through a legal career that spans more than five decades, Lawrence Fox has become nationally recognized for his leadership in professional responsibility and legal ethics and his commitment to pro bono work.

Not in Kansas anymore: A former congressman’s improbable journey from the heartland to Hollywood

In 2004, Dan Glickman began a six-year stint as chairman and CEO of the Motion Picture Association of America. That may seem like an unusual career change for a nine-term congressman from Kansas and former secretary of agriculture. People sometimes questioned his qualifications to lead Hollywood’s trade association. “I used to grow popcorn,” he tells me he’d respond. “And now I sell it.”

How to craft your legal writing on the clock

Recall the situation: It’s the first day of your new job as an assistant attorney general in your state. You’re an experienced litigator, and you put in for the position touting your skill as a writer. You were told that it would be a demanding job, but you figured that your experience in private practice has been as demanding as anything the new position might present.

New AI-powered legal writing tool aims to help lawyers craft winning briefs

A gratifying legal victory sparked Jacqueline Schafer’s desire to create a legal technology product that would help other lawyers efficiently craft case-winning briefs full of compelling evidence. Clearbrief is an AI-powered legal writing tool.

Legal historian John Fabian Witt discusses new book on epidemics and law

Retired BigLaw partner tells tales of lawyers, FBI and kidnapping epidemic of 1930s in new book

Any discussion of kidnapping during the early 20th century calls to mind the 1932 abduction and killing of aviator Charles Lindbergh’s toddler son. But as Carolyn Cox demonstrates, kidnapping for ransom extended far beyond the “crime of the century.”

Colorful judicial writing style undermines legitimacy of opinions, law prof argues

Judges who write colorful opinions that are lively and engaging are undermining the integrity of the judicial role and the legitimacy of opinions, a law professor has argued in an upcoming law review article.

A conversation with attorney George Critchlow on his new book, ‘The Lifer and the Lawyer’

In his new book, The Lifer and the Lawyer, co-authored by Michael Anderson, an African American man who was charged with committing 22 offenses—including kidnapping, assault and robbery—during a violent crime spree, lawyer George Critchlow recounts his defense of Anderson and how their relationship evolved from attorney-client to a lasting friendship.

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