The Art of Consumer Drafting
Scribes Journal of Legal Writing, Vol. 11, p. 1, 2007
24 Pages Posted: 19 Jan 2009 Last revised: 10 Apr 2011
I made up the term "consumer drafting" a few years ago to describe legal drafting aimed at nonlawyers. I believe that most consumer drafting is bad. I believe that most consumer drafting cannot be read and understood by the people who need to read and understand it. And I believe that lawyers should do something about it. This piece discusses what I've done to prepare myself to improve consumer drafting. After highlighting the nature of the problem briefly, I first discuss some words-and-sentences, grammar-and-usage aspects of consumer drafting. Then, in the main part of the piece, I discuss the ways I had to change my thinking, the ways I had to become more like an artist than a lawyer. I believe that anyone can take the same steps and do some real work in consumer drafting. In taking the steps, you may come to believe, as I did, that consumer drafting is an art.
Keywords: plain English, plain language, consumer, drafting, legal drafting, nonlawyer
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