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Legal writing

6 legal support skills to be proud of wherever you go

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As a paralegal or legal secretary, you have highly specialized experience in submitting court filings, managing case files, planning presentations for trial, and other tasks that usually happen only in a law firm or legal department. But working in legal support gives you skills beyond the day to day technical […]

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eFiling terms legal professionals should know [slideshow]

wood letter blocks

So you’re getting ready to electronically file court documents? Do you have the vocabulary you need to succeed? Check out the top eFiling terms that all legal professionals need to know. eFiling tech terms every legal professional should know, originally posted on Slideshare. What are some other new things you’ve learned since technology […]

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Explaining fonts in California courts: eFiling and beyond

Typesetting blocks

The font style must be essentially equivalent to Courier, Times New Roman, or Arial. – 2017 California Rules of Court, Rule 2.105 When the focus of your briefs must be the content and conveying vital information to support your case, it can be easy to keep the visual details of the […]

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How is the role of legal support staff changing?

People at the office

In the past, the duties of those who worked in the legal industry were pretty clearly defined. The lawyers represented the clients, the paralegals (sometimes known as legal assistants) assisted the lawyers with their cases, and the legal secretaries answered the phone and did clerical work. But thanks to the […]

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Don’t write wrong: $10 million lawsuit decided over missing serial comma

Grammar

Good grammar – following the rules for commas, punctuation, and sentence structure – is considered by many to be essential for effective writing. But in the age of informal writing via texting, social media, and email, does grammar really matter for quality legal writing anymore? Legally speaking, yes it does. […]

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How to use Word’s readability stats to improve your legal writing

It’s generally accepted that good legal writing is concise writing. It’s not always easy, though. It’s especially difficult in the legal field, where simplicity can get lost in an ocean of impenetrable jargon, superfluous triplicate phrases, and never-ending sentences. The result is often writing that’s hard work to read or […]

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How to stay sane when using track changes in Word

race track

If you work in a law office, then it’s a near certainty that you’re familiar with collaborating on documents using Word’s track changes features. Today, now that almost all legal writing involves some sort of collaboration, it’s a hugely valuable and useful tool. However, as the tangle of multi-colored markup […]

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How to use Microsoft Word Styles (a guide for legal professionals)

A well-formatted and -presented legal document can go a long way toward enhancing readability. However, worrying about consistent formatting can seem trivial when it’s the content that really matters. If (like me) you’re a bit of a pedant for a consistently-presented document, then you may have spent a lot of […]

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The best books, blogs, and resources for legal writing

Legal writing resources

The vast majority of legal jobs require the deployment of legal writing skills. In fact, your writing, along with your interpersonal abilities, will almost certainly be the most important elements on which you are professionally judged. However, because of the sheer volume of written material produced by legal professionals — […]

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Why typography should matter to lawyers

why typography should matter to lawyers

“Typography matters because it helps conserve the most valuable resource you have as a writer — reader attention.” So says Matthew Butterick, a graphic designer-turned-lawyer who has authored a book called “Typography for Lawyers”, which seeks to bust a lot of presentational myths that persist in the legal profession, and […]

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