Form and Substance
Bench & Bar Kentucky, Vol. 67, No. 2, p. 51, March 2003
1 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2006
In legal writing, form is substance. If a writer is sloppy about matters like grammar and spelling and citation form, readers will assume the writer is equally sloppy in legal research and analysis. Even worse, readers may find the prose so difficult to read that they simply stop trying.
This essay presents four tips to help avoid embarrassing prose. First, use proper case citations, custom-tailored to the local jurisdiction. Second, check spelling, and don't rely on Spellcheck. Third, use impeccable grammar. Fourth, proofread everything.
Keywords: legal writing, form, substance, grammar, prose, citation, spelling, proofread
JEL Classification: K00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation