'The Reports of My Death are Greatly Exaggerated': Reading and Writing Objective Legal Memoranda in a Mobile Computing Age

55 Pages Posted: 20 Jun 2013 Last revised: 23 Sep 2014

Kirsten K. Davis

Stetson University College of Law

Date Written: June 18, 2013

Abstract

Is there any reason for lawyers to write legal memoranda, particularly when some lawyers report that they no longer value the “traditional” legal memo? Does the legal memorandum – a common first writing project for law students – have any application whatsoever beyond the first year of law school? Does the usefulness of the memo decrease when it is read on a mobile device?

This article takes issue with the idea that the “traditional” legal memorandum is dead. It challenges lawyers, law faculty, and law students to think more deeply about the purposes of the legal memo, its role in modern legal practice, and its readability in a mobile computing world. And it offers a view of the legal memo that draws upon not only legal practice traditions but also upon the rules of ethics, rhetorical theory, cognitive science, and on-screen readability studies.

Keywords: Legal Writing, Legal Memorandum, Mobile Computing, Legal Rhetoric, Legal Ethics

JEL Classification: K00, K19

Suggested Citation

Davis, Kirsten K., 'The Reports of My Death are Greatly Exaggerated': Reading and Writing Objective Legal Memoranda in a Mobile Computing Age (June 18, 2013). 92 Oregon Law Review 471 (2014); Stetson University College of Law Research Paper No. 2013-12. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2281252 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2281252

Kirsten K. Davis (Contact Author)

Stetson University College of Law ( email )

1401 61st Street South
Gulfport, FL 33707
United States
727-562-7877 (Phone)

Paper statistics

Downloads
260
Rank
95,063
Abstract Views
1,564