This article begins with the premise that most law students will become professional writers: that is, they will make their living from writing, whether in practice or academia. As such, they should be confident and comfortable with legal discourse and composition in practical, social, and intellectual contexts. That confidence must be based on good training throughout their law school careers, and that training must look beyond legal writing problems to solutions. To suggest solutions to legal writing problems, this article examines traditional definitions of legal writing, definitions that may themselves be impeding progress toward more effective training. It then offers a revised definition of legal writing and explores how that definition informs legal writing pedagogy. Finally, it uses that definition to suggest specific techniques for teaching legal writing, for designing legal writing programs, and for ensuring that techniques introduced in the academy can be carried over to law practice.
Chris Rideout and Jill J. Ramsfield,
Legal Writing: A Revised View, 69 WASH. L. REV. 35