ERIC Number: ED255938
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1985-Mar
Reference Count: 0
Achieving Plain English: An Exercise in Legal Style.
Recognizing that writing is perhaps more crucial to law than to any profession, the Southwestern University School of Law began an interdisciplinary writing program in 1979. The legal communication skills course is a mandatory part of the first-year curriculum, continuing for two semesters and awarding three unit credits. The course strives to teach basic writing skills, the formal conventions of legal writing, research methodology, reasoning and analysis skills, and oral advocacy. Writing assignments ask students to explore the structure, purpose, and style of each type of legal form, and students learn to apply techniques of legal reasoning and analysis and the knowledge gained in their substantive courses to the writing of these legal documents. Principles of revision are taught using Richard Wydick's "Plain English for Lawyers." Basically, his revision techniques fall into the three broad categories of diction, syntax, and concision. After discussing his techniques, students are given three paragraphs from cases the students have already encountered in class that embody some of the greatest errors of style and asked to revise them. (HOD)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Legal Writing; Southwestern University School of Law CA
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (36th, Minneapolis, MN, March 21-23, 1985).