You probably want to know how to write well—or at least decently. (If you don’t, then I hope that you can hire somebody who can write.) An article by Michael Bess of Winston & Strawn should help. His article offers 12 tips for writing better. His advice includes the following:
- Nail the introduction. Your introduction should state what the reader should do and why, and it should do so in one or two pages.
- Drop unnecessary and case-specific details. A court does not care if the defendant in a case is Mr. Smith or Ms. Jones. Instead, when describing the facts of a case, state the legal significance of a party (e.g., landlord or the police).
- Don’t recap legal standards unnecessarily. For instance, you don’t need two pages to state the standard for summary judgment.
- Be discriminating in advancing arguments. You should not raise every conceivable argument. By doing so, you will water down your good arguments.
You can read the rest of his tips on the ABA’s website.