Legal Analysis, Legal Writing, Legal Writing Prof Blog, Professor Joe Kimble, Professor Mark E. Wojcik
Shall Means “Must.” Unless it Means “Should.” Mark E. Wojcik, Professor of Law, John Marshall Law School (Chicago), Legal Writing Prof Blog
In the legal writing world of contracts, legislation, and case law, legal writers debate about the meaning of the word “shall.” Many legal writing scholars have argued that “shall” means “must” without exception, and that is what I was taught in paralegal school. Professor Wojcik makes a convincing argument for dropping the ambiguous “shall” in favor of words that leave no question about what they mean. -CCE
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