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Lawyers Are Poor Drafters, by Judith D. Fischer, Legal Writing Prof Blog


Most lawyers are poor drafters, writes Professor Joseph Kimble of Western Michigan University-Cooley Law School. In a recent article, Kimble identifies two key reasons for this: law schools have tended to neglect legal drafting, and lawyers often mimic the antiquated language in form books and poorly drafted statutes. To illustrate the problem, Kimble offers a court order prepared by lawyers and judges at a recent symposium. Displaying the order and his revised version side by side, he points out, among other things, that the original has 125 words more than the revision; the original includes several legalese phrases, such as pursuant to; and the original includes unnecessary cross-references. For his full analysis, see You Think Lawyers Are Good Drafters? in the autumn 2014 issue of The Green Bag.