Top tips for drafting

New law graduates worry that they are not properly equipped to write in the style that is expected of them as lawyers. More experienced practitioners express surprise that so few of their trainees seem to have grasped this essential skill during their time at law school. The problem is exacerbated by the fact that trainees believe that no one will take them seriously unless they adopt what they regard as a ‘lawyerly’ style. Similarly, their supervisors encourage them to write in their style, rather than develop their own.

Whatever the root of the problem, we are first and foremost communicators. We must be able to express advice to our clients cogently. We must set out our arguments persuasively and draft legal documents in order to discharge our duty to our clients effectively. What follows are my own personal reminders, a list which I try to keep in mind every time I put pen to paper. They are designed to have broad application to all types of legal drafting…

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