What Lawyers Can Learn from Edgar Allan Poe

15 Legal Comm. & Rhetoric: JAWLD 233 (2018)

13 Pages Posted: 12 Sep 2019

See all articles by Julie A. Oseid

Julie A. Oseid

University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota)

Date Written: 2018

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Oseid, Julie A., What Lawyers Can Learn from Edgar Allan Poe (2018). 15 Legal Comm. & Rhetoric: JAWLD 233 (2018), Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3451483

Julie A. Oseid (Contact Author)

University of St. Thomas School of Law (Minnesota) ( email )

MSL 400, 1000 La Salle Avenue
Minneapolis, MN Minnesota 55403-2005
United States

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