Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=1293001
 


 



The Power of Brevity: Adopt Abraham Lincoln's Habits


Julie A. Oseid


University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)

October 31, 2008

Journal of the Association of Legal Writing Directors

Abstract:     
Final published version at: http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1434735

This short article focuses on the persuasive power of brevity in legal writing, using Abraham Lincoln as a role model. Lincoln's eloquence was grounded in his ability to express much with few words. He learned the power of brevity while practicing law.
The article reviews Lincoln's legal career, and examines Lincoln's use of brevity to persuade in three of his presidential speeches. I explore Lincoln's writing and editing habits. I urge modern lawyers to adopt Lincoln's habits of writing early, visualizing audience, and editing with ruthlessness to increase eloquence and persuasiveness.

Keywords: legal writing, Abraham Lincoln, persuasive writing, presidential speeches

Accepted Paper Series


Not Available For Download

Date posted: November 3, 2008 ; Last revised: July 1, 2010

Suggested Citation

Oseid, Julie A., The Power of Brevity: Adopt Abraham Lincoln's Habits (October 31, 2008). Journal of the Association of Legal Writing Directors. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=1293001

Contact Information

Julie A. Oseid (Contact Author)
University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota) ( email )
MSL 400, 1000 La Salle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 55403-2005
United States
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