What Lawyers Can Learn from Edgar Allan Poe
15 Legal Comm. & Rhetoric: JAWLD 233 (2018)
13 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2019
Date Written: 2018
Treat yourself to a spine-tingling Edgar Allan Poe sensation by reading about the synergy between stories of horror and legal writing. Poe defined a short-story writing technique and named four qualities—brevity, unity, focus, and brilliant style—as critical. These exact same qualities are familiar to lawyers because they are just as critical for persuasive briefs. This article examines Poe’s critique of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s Twice-Told Tales, reviews some of Poe’s own work, and applies Poe’s advice about great short-story writing to legal writing.
Keywords: legal writing, legal rhetoric, rhetoric, Edgar Allan Poe, brief writing, lawyering skills
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