Preparing Plain Legal Documents for Nonlawyers
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Too many legal documents intended for nonlawyers are dense, archaic, and unnecessarily complex. In truth, they simply contain traditional legalese: jargon, terms of art, long sentences, and complicated syntax. What's more, these documents sometimes contain mistakes of English and sometimes of substantive law, both of which are harder to spot and fix because the text is written in traditional legalese. Ultimately, these documents fail of their essential purpose: to communicate binding legal content to a nonlegal reader. This new book from ABA Publishing shows lawyers how to adjust their writing to accommodate the nonlegal audience. Through the chapters in this book they'll find tips designed to improve their legal writing for the lay audience as well as examples of poor legal writing, common errors, why they should be fixed, and how to fix them. Readers will find sentence structure advice as well as guidance on organization, tone, format, and document design. Using a short, clear, and easy-to-read format, this book is ideal for practicing lawyers or law students who want their material to be understood and not ignored.