Equitable, Gender-Neutral Language Means More Effective Advocacy

California Lawyer Magazine, August 2015, at 13

3 Pages Posted: 7 Aug 2015 Last revised: 19 Aug 2015

See all articles by Eunice Park

Eunice Park

Western State University - College of Law

Date Written: August 1, 2015

Abstract

As legal writers, whether our goal is to persuade, establish parameters, or inform, we want our audience to focus on substance, not style -- or the lack thereof. Language that may distract, annoy, or possibly inflame the reader is language that any practitioner should avoid at all times. Sexist language is one example, even if the gender bias in the language is inadvertent. It behooves the practitioner to avoid the risk that readers will take exception to a gender-biased style and view the content with a dour or even irate eye. Instead, a legal writer should strive to write in a gender-neutral manner that lets the audience focus on the purpose of the writing. This article suggests some possible approaches along with others to avoid.

Keywords: legal, writer, writers, legal writer, legal writers, gender, bias, neutral, pronoun, pronouns, language, gender-biased

Suggested Citation

Park, Eunice, Equitable, Gender-Neutral Language Means More Effective Advocacy (August 1, 2015). California Lawyer Magazine, August 2015, at 13. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2639513

Eunice Park (Contact Author)

Western State University - College of Law ( email )

1 Banting
Irvine, CA 92618
United States

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