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FindLaw Strategist's 10 Best Writing Tips From 2017

Here at FindLaw, we write about the law quite bit. And one topic that just never seems to get old for us, and for our readers, is writing about legal writing. Whether it's technical stuff like the capitalization of the word "plaintiff" or much more serious matters, like the capitalization of the word "internet," when there's a development in legal writing, it's a safe bet that it'll get covered right here in this blog.

Since there's practically no way anyone can keep up with everything, below you can find the FindLaw Strategist blog's top 10 writing tips from 2017.

1. Legal Writing Doesn't Have to Be Boring

You may be bored with your client and their case, but that doesn't mean your pleading should be boring to read. The more engaging your pleading is, the more engaged your judge will be with your case.

2. 7 Tips on How to Proofread Pleadings

Proofreading and editing is one of the most important parts of the writing process. Learning to proofread better can save you time and catch typos you may have otherwise missed.

3. How to Write a Funny Demand Letter

Sometimes a little levity can go a long way. This is especially true if you anticipate that your demand letter could go viral on the internet.

4. How to Hide 'Tracked Changes' From Opposing Counsel

It's 2018 folks. You better know how to use your word processor correctly or your opposing counsel will be able to see all the changes and notes you made in your documents.

5. What Is Excessive Footnoting?

Courts are generally okay with the sparing use of footnotes, and few actually have rules on what's considered excessive. Fortunately, you can learn from the mistakes of other lawyers.

6. Pleading for the Public: How Readable Is Your Writing?

Readability is an important part of any pleading. However, whether or not your pleading should be easy to understand by the general public is another question entirely.

7. Classic, Plain-Language Writing Tips

Even if you're a poet and everyone knows it, keeping your legal writing in the classic, plain-language style is always advisable.

8. How to Write a Great Closing to Your Brief

While concluding by asking the court to do what you ask is standard, there are definitely ways to take your closing from meh to great.

9. What Fonts Are Acceptable for Legal Documents?

When you're trying to squeeze in as many words as possible, or you're hoping to make your briefs visually appealing, font matters.

10. A Quick Reminder on the Importance of the Oxford Comma, From the First Circuit

Punctuation has an impact on meaning. So the next time you ask yourself whether or not you need a comma in a sentence, don't just brush it off. Commas, especially Oxford commas, can make a world of difference.

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