Joe Fore

Three Neglected (Keyboard) Keys in Effective Legal Writing

Lady (Legal) Writer


UPDATE: 7.8.16: This article won the LitigationWorld Pick of the Week award, given to one article every week that the editors of LitigationWorld feel is a must-read for litigators, corporate counsel, and others working in litigation.

Several weeks back, Above the Law’s David Lat wrote a post about his trip to the Fifth Circuit’s 2016 Judicial Conference. Lat gave a great recap of Bryan Garner’s presentation on “3 Neglected Keys to Effective Advocacy,” which, very briefly, were:

  1. Avoid the awkward single-sentence structure for questions/issues presented. Instead, use the multi-sentence “deep issue” structure.
  2. Use headings that read like regular, full sentences.
  3. Skip the traditional fluff and make your introductions and conclusions powerful.

These are certainly helpful ideas. But the title of Lat’s piece got me thinking a bit more literally about neglected keys. What are three neglected keyboard keys for effective legal writing? I nominate these three (plus one bonus key)...


Joe Fore, Three Neglected (Keyboard) Keys in Effective Legal Writing, Lady (Legal) Writer (2016).

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