There are many rules, styles, formats and other structural devices that can be used to ensure your legal writing adheres to the highest standards. Legal writing requires that you do not color outside the lines, whether you are writing a deposition or contract drafting. There are situations where you can use your voice to add authenticity and coherence to your writing while still keeping it legal. Any professional can give you their list of favorite books on legal writing. These lists can be followed to the letter or you can choose which books are best for your needs.
It may help to look at what your peers are reading to help you navigate the often confusing and overwhelming world of legal writing books. What are the most popular sources of information for legal professionals? What books are the most popular with people who use them in the same way as you? You can find the best legal writing books by looking at the bestsellers lists. Few bestsellers lists are as well-known as Amazon’s.
- A Uniform Style Of Citation, 20th Edition
This book was written by some of the most prominent law educators. The Blue Book’s latest edition provides a complete guide for law students and lawyers to create citations. It covers formatting from different legal sources, including court cases, statutes and periodicals, as well as international documents.
- Contract Drafting: Why and How Lawyers Do What they Do, 2nd Edition
Amazon: “An eagerly awaited second edition of this well-respected text teaches contract drafting. It focuses on how to include the business deal in the contract and add value for the client.”
- The Point: How to Write Like Top Advocates in the Nation, 2nd Edition
Advocate is the best synonym for what a lawyer actually is. Advocates for clients are lawyers. Lawyers must advocate on behalf of their clients. Writing is one of the best and most efficient ways to advocate for clients, as well as one of the most important. How does a lawyer convince their clients? How can you write an opening statement and draft a motion persuasively? Ross Guberman’s essential answers these questions by providing lawyers with guidance on how to improve their legal writing so they can achieve the results they desire.
- An Advocate Persuades
Authors Joan M. Rocklin and Robert B. Rocklin; Christine Coughlin and Sandy Patrick
A valuable tool in the arsenal of a lawyer is wisdom on persuasion. This gives first-year lawyers amazing insight into how to present oral and written arguments and how to be an effective advocate for clients.
- Plain English for Lawyers, 5th Edition
Considered a classic for more than 25 years, Wydick’s award-winning Plain English for Lawyers is trusted by legal professionals as one of the go-to legal writing books for lawyers, teachers, judges, paralegals, and more to write in concisely yet effectively–accessible, yet sophisticated.
Barnes & Noble is another helpful resource for insight into the books lawyers read. Here are three of the most popular legal writing books from Barnes & Noble. The Blue Book was ranked No. Both sites have The Blue Book at No. Plain English for Lawyers is the No. Amazon’s No. 5 is Plain English for Lawyers. 2 on Barnes & Nobles website.
- A Practical Guide to Appellate Advocacy, 4th Edition
Barnes & Noble: “An updated edition of Beazley’s successful and accessible course book for appellate advocacy. Features:
- New material about the impact technology has on appellate advocacy. The research includes interviews with judges and clerks.
- Time management tips
- The material on narrative theory has been clarified and expanded with syllogisms using narrative theory
- “New discussions about avoiding plagiarism at law school” and “malpractice in practice” that highlight the distinction between academic misconduct (or professional misconduct) when it comes to legal writing
Plain English Legal Writing, Second Edition: A text with exercises
Barnes & Noble: “Admirably concise, clear, down-to earth, and powerful–all to often, legal writing embodies none these qualities. Its reputation for obscureness and unnecessary legalese is well-known… This indispensable book, which has been the standard guide to clear writing in the field since 1912, encourages legal writers and other professionals to question conventions and provides valuable insights into writing that will appeal to them.
- How to Win: A Lawyer
Barnes & Noble: “The law has a deserved reputation of opaque, jargon-clogged written. But forceful writing can be one of the most powerful tools in legal advocacy. Steven D. Stark is a former Harvard Law School lecturer on law. He has inspired thousands of practicing and aspiring lawyers by applying the universal principles powerful, vigorous prose to the task of making a legal case.