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Legal Writing in Plain English: A Text with Exercises

  • Edition : 3rd ed., 2023
  • Author(s) : Garner

Admirably clear, concise, down-to-earth, and powerful—all too often, legal writing embodies none of these qualities. Its reputation for obscurity and needless legalese is widespread. Since 2001, Bryan A. Garner’s Legal Writing in Plain English has helped address this problem by providing lawyers, judges, paralegals, law students, and legal scholars with sound advice and practical tools for improving their written work. Now the leading guide to clear writing in the field, this indispensable volume encourages legal writers to challenge conventions and offers valuable insights into the writing process: how to organize ideas, create and refine prose, and improve editing skills.

Accessible and witty, Legal Writing in Plain English draws on real-life writing samples that Garner has gathered through decades of teaching experience. Trenchant advice covers all types of legal materials, from analytical and persuasive writing to legal drafting, and the book’s principles are reinforced by sets of basic, intermediate, and advanced exercises in each section.

For this third edition, Garner has retained the structure of the previous versions, with updates and new material throughout. There are new sections on making your writing vivid and concrete and on using graphics to enhance your argument. The coverage and examples of key topics such as achieving parallelism, avoiding legalese, writing effective openers and summaries, and weaving quotations into your text have also been expanded. And the sample legal documents and exercises have been updated, while newly added checklists provide quick summaries of each section.
 
Altogether, this new edition will be the most useful yet for legal professionals and students seeking to improve their prose.