Advice on Persuasive and Effective Legal Writing from the United States Supreme Court Justices

Those students participating in this years writing competition and others, who wish to improve their legal writing, may want to
check out a recent post from the Blog of the Legal Times. The post highlights interviews of the United States Supreme Court Justices on effective persuasive writing. The interviews were conducted by Bryan Garner, a noted legal writing and style expert. The transcripts of the interviews are published online and available for free download at The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing. Some notable quotes from the transcripts include:

“I have yet to put down a brief and say, ‘I wish that had been longer’” (p. 35).

“What the academy is doing, as far as I can tell, is largely of no use or interest to people who actually practice law” (p. 37).

“I can’t bear it [legalese]” (p. 141). “Terrible! Terrible!” (p. 156).

Garner is the author of a number of works on legal writing. Listed below are a few of his most popular resources available at BLS.