Document Type

Article

Abstract

This article shows why lawyers must improve their writing skills beyond law school, throughout their careers, and why the legal profession must join the legal academy in working to improve them. It offers recommendations that the legal profession can implement to combine efforts with academia to meet the challenge of improving legal writing. Academia and the legal profession agree that lawyers write poorly; however, how, when, and who should improve writing skills needs examination. For pragmatic and pedagogical reasons, a united effort between academia and the legal profession is required to meet the challenge of improving legal writing. Writing is the most important skill lawyers have, yet it is a skill that often is not valued or prioritized. Also, many current lawyers lack the necessary legal writing training and instruction to realize their full potential or give adequate feedback. Further, as lawyers transition into practice and as their expertise is developed, their writing skills need refinement. The Article concludes that until the need to improve legal writing beyond law school is acknowledged and prioritized and the responsibility of improving this critical skill is shared, the problem of poor writing will continue.

Date of Authorship for this Version

August 2005