Legal Writing Can Be Fun

I actually enjoy advocacy writing.

Memos were a bore and a struggle; research and the effort to make as few (overt or subtle) suggestions of an inclination or bias one way or another is frustrating. Writing is naturally biased and prejudicial: the mere fact of choosing one word over another, one source or authority against another indicates prejudice of some kind.  The entire process of written communication is one of choice and, thereby, advocacy, even if slight. The idea that objectivity can be sought to any degree rather bothers me. Obviously, not all memos will have the kind of unbiased limitations that those required for my classes will, but the assignment itself and the purpose behind it just fails to pique my interest.

Briefs, though, are fun. The entire process of shading a fact pattern in the light most favorable to your client/position, the maneuver of inserting minor qualifiers and single adjectives coloring a court opinion to read something slightly different than what was actually intended, the game of trying to convince someone else: that makes writing (and thinking, and analysis) fun, entertaining, enjoyable. Even in the midst of deadlines and due dates, unsupportive authorities and external pressure, even in the midst of all that stress, the intellectual challenge of constructing a document that is persuasive and yet simple and fun to read hits all the right buttons for me. I hesitate to say at this early juncture that I love it (after all, I only turned in the first draft today; perhaps the inevitable editorial destruction it will undoubtedly undergo at the hands of my Legal Practice professor will change my outlook), but it’s certainly a lot more engaging than what I was doing before. Hopefully it sticks.

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