instagram pinterest linkedin facebook twitter goodreads

The Lawyer’s Guide to Writing Well

with Tom Goldstein; University of California Press, 3rd paperback edition, 2016, 286pp.; 2nd paperback edition, 2002, 276pp.; 1st paperback ed., 1991, 278pp.
McGraw-Hill, 1989, 274pp., hardcover ed.

From page 1

Most lawyers write poorly.
        That’s not just our lament. Leading lawyers across the country agree. They think modern legal writing is flabby, prolix, obscure, opaque, ungrammatical, dull, boring, redundant, disorganized, gray, dense, unimaginative, impersonal, foggy, infirm, indistinct, stilted, arcane, confused, heavy-handed, jargon- and cliché-ridden, ponderous, weaseling, overblown, pseudointellectual, hyperbolic, misleading, incivil, labored, bloodless, vacuous, evasive, pretention, convoluted, rambling, incoherent, choked, archaic, orotund, and fuzzy.

From the reviewers

"Should be in the office of every lawyer."

William Safire, New York Times Magazine

"Lawyers . . . need writers, or at least a guide like The Lawyer’s Guide to Writing Well, to help them put together a sentence that the rest of the world can understand."
Washington Post Book World

"This may be the most underappreciated legal-writing text in the country. This gem of a book is snappy, informative, and interlaced with some of the most memorable quotes to be found anywhere."
Scott P. Stolley, The Defense

"This advice is sensible and lucidly given, and what is more, the reason for it is explained, so that even a moderately eager reader need not simply memorize but can remember the principle and apply it where needed."
Jacques Barzun