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The Legal Beagle’s favorite book and that of dog lovers everywhere is Every Dog’s Legal Guide: A Must Have Book for Your Owner by Mary Randolph (KF390.5 .D6 R36 2005). His favorite movie is about the crime fighting pooch, Underdog! His current hero is Uno, the beagle who won Best in Show at the...

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Writing Tips for Summer Associates

Posted by Library Blog on 06/17/2008 at 12:00 AM

Lawyer and award-winning journalist Ross Guberman offers 12 writing tips for summer associates in a recently published article in the National Law Journal. His writing tips include:

• Do not agonize over every word.
• Check the draft carefully for typos, citation errors, spelling mistakes and formatting glitches.
• Obtain information about format, final length of the document, length of time to spend on the document, existence of a document within the firm that can be used as a template, and what will be done with the document once it is submitted to the supervising attorney.
• Find out how the assignment fits into the big picture.
• Communicate with the supervising attorney regarding the status of the assignment and ask questions if necessary.
• Conquer writer’s block by condensing a lengthy piece of writing into a few sentences to obtain the big-picture structure.
• Avoid wordy, passive, rambling and abstract writing.
• Every word in the draft should be geared toward the goal(s) of the document which could be to solve a problem, skirt an obstacle or change someone’s mind.
• Analyze the issue and provide an answer.
• Eliminate needless words, phrases and constructions.
• Read the draft aloud in order to check for mistakes and awkward sentences.
• Seek feedback.