Brief writing is by far the best part of being a lawyer, at least for me. The chance to write for a living is the primary reason I went to law school (aside from the chance to do good and and incur $250,000 in debt). I’ve always been a writer and lawyering is a great way for writers to secure health insurance, hang out with smart people, and hone their storytelling skills.
Other lawyers probably don’t get quite as excited about good writing. Nonetheless, it’s an important — if not the most important — part of any litigator’s job.
Having read and written a good number of briefs in my career, I’ve come across great writing and truly terrible writing. Here are some basic tips I would have shared with my adversaries had I been their boss (rather than the lawyer on the other side of the aisle gleefully trying to pick apart their arguments):