Main Image

About the Book

Legal Writing for Legal Readers

Front Cover - Legal Writing for Legal Readers

Mary Beth Beazley
Professor of Law
Director of Legal Writing
The Ohio State University
Moritz College of Law

Monte Smith
Assistant Dean for Academic Affairs
The Ohio State University
Moritz College of Law

2014. 384 pages. ISBN: 978-1-4548-4718-2.

About the Book

Applying the perspective of the reader to the craft of writing, Legal Writing for Legal Readers teaches the differences between strong and weak legal writing by letting students read examples of both. Students discover how productive it can be to read a well-articulated argument, as compared to one that is illogical and ill conceived. We aren’t always able to identify our own faults as writers—but as readers, we can see clearly the merits of both the argument and its presentation. The authors’ sidebars and annotations highlight why one writer fails while another succeeds. Students realize the significance of their own behavior as readers and how that behavior should dictate their writing decisions.

As readers, students learn to recognize the specific elements of analysis and structure that make legal writing effective. As writers, they will make better and more informed choices, when they think about it from a reader’s perspective.

Using the student’s own experience as a reader to shed light on what makes legal writing succeed or fail, Legal Writing for Leal Readers features:
A range of both strong and weak legal documents, selected to illustrate legal writing concepts
Broad coverage that includes memos and briefs, as well as complaints, correspondence, and criminal motions
Sidebar comments from the authors that provide context and insight
Annotations that incorporate cognitive and behavioral theories to explain why some approaches work better than others 
Authors with a wealth of experience, in both teaching and practice
Additional on-line resources

Preface / Sample Chapters