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
Date Written: August 1, 2015
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
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