ERIC Number: ED229751
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1983-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Factors Important in Composing Legal Written Communication.
West, Judy Ferguson
To determine which factors were considered important in composing legal written documents, personal interviews were conducted with 111 Middle Tennessee Bar Association members, and questionnaires were mailed to 211 legal secretaries/paralegals. The self-administered questionnaires were completed and returned by 133 persons. Of those, 108 indicated that they composed some written communications, 24 indicated no composition, and one did not respond to the question. By comparison, 95% of the lawyers reported delegating some composing decisions to an employee. Responses indicated that lawyers considered the type of communication as well as the employee's attitudes, experiences, and skills before deciding to delegate. Willingness of the employee to assist was most important. Also, the ability of the employee to become knowledgeable in the subject, to plan the content, and to write clearly and concisely were the factors selected most frequently by the lawyers as necessary for the employee accepting composing responsibilities. Necessary employee communication skills included vocabulary development and proofreading skills as well as grammar, organization of facts, punctuation, sentence structure, and spelling. Other skills and characteristics emphasized were dictaphone transcription, shorthand, typewriting, honesty, integrity, and human relations. (HOD)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Legal Writing
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Southwest Division of the American Business Communication Association (Houston, TX, March 10-12, 1983).