Why should your lawyer have good writing skills? You might be looking for an attorney who is a great orator who can dazzle a judge and jury. Why should you care whether your lawyer, like one from Webber Weiser McKinley & Kay, can write well? You may be surprised to learn that good legal writing plays more of a role behind winning a case than you think.
Sometimes You Can Win On Writing Alone
If a judge receives a well-written motion or brief, the judge may decide the issue at hand based on the motion alone. In fact, some judges require that each side submit a legal brief prior to a hearing on the arguments. Judges, like the rest of us, like things that make their jobs easier. A well-written memorandum of law that clearly lays out the facts and the law relating to those facts makes a judge's job easier. And if you are the one delivering that brilliant memo to the judge, you just made it easier for the judge to rule in your favor.
Check Your Lawyer's Writing Credentials
Does your lawyer have any published work? If your lawyer was on law review, this is a definite advantage. Being selected for law review is a distinct honor for law students. Law review membership is usually reserved only for students who have demonstrated superior performance in academics or writing. If your lawyer was on law review, they most likely possess superior legal research and writing skills.
Has your lawyer written any published books? Having a published book is another testament to a lawyer's writing ability, as well as recognition for expertise in their fields. Pick up a copy of your attorney's book if possible. Reading someone's book can sometimes be the greatest insight into who they are and what they believe, both in professional and personal life. You can sometimes learn more about your attorneys and how they will handle your case than you can face-to-face.
Win Behind The Scenes With Good Writing
You want to hire an attorney who has a way with words – not just in the courtroom but on paper. Good writing is an important but often overlooked skill. Popular culture often portrays lawyers as loud-mouthed, gregarious individuals who deliver brilliant speeches in court. Who's really thinking about a lawyer's writing skills when we're watching one of their engrossing performances? But in reality, there's a lot of hard work that goes on behind the scenes before those speeches are delivered. And good writing is a necessary element of that process.