AuthorEdwin Scott Fruehwald
ProfessionLaw Professor at the University of Alabama
Communication is the key to success. No matter how brilliant a lawyer’s
ideas may be, those ideas will remain unheard if the lawyer cannot com-
municate them effectively. Consequently, legal writing is a fundamental skill
for lawyers and law students.
I have written this book to help lawyers and law students improve their
writing. This book is self-contained (the answers to the exercises are located
immediately following the exercises). Lawyers in any stage of their career
can use it to help improve their writing skills, or they can use it to become
aware of what they should correct in the writing of their employees. Law
students can employ this tome to improve their writing immediately before
law school or while they are taking legal writing. Legal writing professors
can adopt it as a supplement in legal writing class. Writing and academic
support specialists can use it to help struggling law students. Finally, while
I have written this book specically for lawyers, most of it can be used by
anyone who wants to write better.1
How is this book different from other books on legal writing? It mainly
teaches you editing and writing through exercises. Many books on legal writ-
ing have few editing exercises. However, educational researchers believe that
the most effective way to learn is through active learning—through doing.
1. Legal writing is specialized writing; it has terminology, techniques, and forms of its own.
However, the keys to clear and effective writing are the same for legal writing and other types
of expository writing. Legal writing is not a foreign language. It begins with the same fun-
damentals as other types of writing, and it adopts those fundamentals to the needs of legal
problem solving.
2. Michael Hunter Schwartz et al., Teaching Law by Design: Engaging Students from the
Syllabus to the Final Exam, 5, 13 (2009). Although this book is based on recent research in
educational methods and cognitive psychology, I will only be discussing theory in the footnotes
and then only briey. For more on how education research and cognitive psychology affects
legal education, see generally E. Scott Fruehwald, “How to Help Students from Disadvantaged
Backgrounds Succeed in Law School,” 1 Tex. A.M. L. Rev. 83 (2013).
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