Legal Writing

In the first instance, careful planning, sound research, a considered structure and consistent writing style are the basis of a good piece of legal writing. Well-conducted research acts as the foundation, whilst the structure should be laid out coherently, always keeping in mind legal argument posed.

In order to write a quality piece of legal writing, one's research materials need to be carefully considered. The use of secondary sources and legal opinion must be balanced with the application of primary source material, i.e. actual legal case judgments. In addition, one should very carefully consider the weight of the secondary sources that are used. For example, if one is going to use a legal opinion, to make sure that the opinion is an authoritative one by a leading legal peer (including those deceased) so that it may not be called into contention is likely to be a widely upheld opinion.

Legal Writing Structure
In the next stages, the strength of the essay necessarily relies on a carefully considered plan. This plan should then develop into a sound structure and underpins any piece of good legal writing. Whilst keeping the objectives of the piece of writing paramount, the audience must then be targeted in a clear, direct and succinct manner by breaking the writing into the appropriate sections in logical and coherent way. Points or arguments should follow on fluently from each other and link together in a comprehensive and structured manner. Logic and reason should always prevail when undertaking a successful piece of legal writing. Legal writing applies long established traditions that, whilst distinct in style across differing legal systems, essentially maintain the same structure of legal investigation, arguments and conclusion. For a quality piece of work, application of consistency and accuracy is crucial.

When writing a good piece of legal writing, style is an essential component. There are long-standing/established considerations traditions that constitute the effective practice of law today, and that is assisted by a minimum standard of legal writing. It goes without saying that a good piece of legal writing is build on sound application of grammar and spelling. It is absolutely fundamental to the work that there are no spelling

it is usually a numerical system of ordered footnotes. precisely quoted and referenced. there is almost certainly a prescribed in-house referencing style that one must adhere to and apply in one's writing. particularly those of Op. (in conferment). no grammatical/syntactical mistakes. Whilst this averts any charges of plagiarism. avoid the use of sub clauses wherever possible and keep sentences short. irrespective of the objectives. and not the passive voice. should be inserted into a following. In accompaniment to an effective and good piece writing. “the prosecution held that” as opposed to “it was held by the prosecution that”. case law and any other legal precedents/authorities.errors and equally. and these will commonly used in a good piece of legal writing. For clarity. There will be an established method that one must prescribe to in order to write an effective and good piece of legal writing. Keep language simple. one must cite all works consulted and employed in the research. There are a number of referencing styles available for legal writing but depending which establishments you are writing for. as legal arguments can become complex and it is vital not to distract from the main points of the argument. This is critical to any good piece of legal writing. must be attributed. irrespective of whether those sources have been quoted and listed in the footnotes. such as „not impossible' or „not unreasonable' etc. (in the same place). – Ibidem. usually in a font size one smaller than the main body of the text. There are several other widely employed referencing styles. Finally. In the UK. including the Harvard system. the use of the active voice. without exception. For example. This is especially relevant to the use of clauses and sub clauses. Quotations that are more detailed. Further still. precise and avoid writing in the negative. whether work or academic. treaties. It is equally important to use recognised and accepted referencing when citing legislation. it also builds originality and strength of argument into one's work. It is important to check with one's own establishment what the prescribed system is. Referencing and Use of Quotations All quotations from primary or secondary sources. separate paragraph and indented. succinct and always to the point. Cf. Cit. is important in a good piece of legal writing. These are just some of the most commonly employed abbreviations. – Opus Citato (already cited) Ibid. usually more than two sentences long. The list should also be subdivided . This is an author date system that is usually in disciplines outside that of law. when writing a good bibliography at the end of a piece of work. one will need to correctly apply the use of established legal abbreviations. This is especially relevant to writing a good piece of legal writing.

Books. revise and correct any substantive or stylistic errors in one's work. stylistic and referencing considerations are made then a good piece of legal writing is achievable. research and plan a clear argument that answers this question then write it down in a clearly structured and precise manner. from the initial planning and research stages. clarity and consistency in argument. And Finally. Always consult and adhere to one's in-house system of rules pertaining to legal writing methods. Proof Read Work Always make sure that enough time is put aside at the end of completing a piece of work in order that there is sufficient time to thoroughly read through. Statutes. It is useful to note that the word count is exclusive of the Bibliography. therefore it is vital that work is proof-read and revised to make sure that all these requirements are achieved. A good piece of legal writing is dependent on precision. . If all of the above considerations are made. to the substantive writing.according to the source materials. Think of the question. Case Law. Journals and e-sources.