Coupled with this is the fact that various lawsuits and claims require an attorney to represent the plaintiff or defendants, including a claim for medical malpractice, product liability, personal injury, and criminal defence.
The task of a lawyer involves handling legal documents that will be presented in court when a case is taken to trial. Legal experts agree that documents like business licenses, wills, and insurance policies must be concise, clearly written, and easy to comprehend. All legal documentation should be carefully organised and clearly documented.
A lack of proper paperwork is a huge risk that could result in a lawsuit, a wrongful conviction, and a loss of a claim. Good legal writing can prevent such outcomes. Within this guide are some of the best legal writing guidelines that will help you succeed as a lawyer or a paralegal. To begin with, let’s define legal writing.
Introduction To Legal Writing
Legal writing is the writing of any document that is subject to a process of interpretation by a court of law. It includes all documents such as contracts, wills, patents, trademarks, policies, leases, and deeds. It is also a product of a society in which the law becomes normative because the principles of law are made accessible to the people, law enforcement agencies, and courts, among others.
This writing is of two types — essay writing and problem writing — that are present in contracts, family law, civil law, intellectual property law, administrative law, equity, and even trusts. They aim to persuade involved parties about specific views on the law and the validity of arguments and contentions presented.
With the information provided in a legal document, such individuals can arrive at a rational, well-founded and logical conclusion, which is the administration of justice. Legal practitioners must understand how to develop a legal document, regardless of their stance on writing. However, not everyone is gifted with the skills required to draft an exceptional legal document.
If you fall into this category then hiring a reliable professional writer would be the ideal choice. For this, you’ll need to read through several cheap writing service reviews before making your final pick.
Common Elements Of A Legal Document
A legal document may have sections such as an introduction, body, conclusion, signature, and so on. As with every part of your document, you can make sure to highlight key areas in your legal document. Let’s examine them in detail.
A Cover Page
The cover page is the opening of your document and is the first section to be mentioned on the first page. It is the prelude to the main part of the document. Featured in this part are the title, reference ID, purpose, location, date, parties, organisation’s logo, and more. Since it is the first page of the document, there should be no numbering.
Table Of Contents
As the name suggests, a table of contents or TOC is a section that contains an outline of the document to aid navigation. Often, legal documents are voluminous, which may make it difficult for readers to locate relevant pages and sections. The TOC includes the titles and sub-titles of the document.
This page is similar to the cover page. But then, it is numbered.
After the first page comes the following sections: background clauses, operative clauses, signatory clauses, definitions and schedules. Background clauses and statements provide context for a proper understanding of the document. Operative clauses are the ones that establish what is in the document. Then, signatory clauses make agreements and are signed by parties who agree to certain terms and conditions that are set in the document.
Definitions are necessary for every agreement and are used to properly define the words, phrases, and legal concepts in the document. They help to avoid unnecessary legal jargon. Schedules state additional details of the operative clauses.
This section provides supplementary materials that are related to the document. You can append the following sections to your legal document: exhibits, glossary, terms and conditions, a list of parties and their respective counsel, and others.
Tips On Writing A Persuasive Legal Document
The law is a legal code, and as such, it involves a system of logical order. A legal document would follow this system to ensure it is not confusing. Thus, to make your paperwork persuasive enough, kindly follow these guidelines.
Clarify The Document’s Purpose
What exactly is your legal document about? In many cases, the purpose of a document is to persuade specific persons to take certain actions. If your document centres on product liability, for instance, then your purpose would be to convince a jury or judge to find that a certain product is not responsible for injuries. You cannot use a legal document for a purpose different from that for which it is drafted.
If the purpose is unclear, it can confuse the participants and affect legal decisions. Make sure the document is clear as to why it was created, what it is intended to accomplish, and how it will help the client.
Define The Recipient
How does your document apply to your recipients? Think of people that you intend to influence and why. You cannot create a document for someone who is not your target audience. If you are writing a legal document for a judge handling a family law case, then the judge must be experienced with family law. It would not be appropriate to target one that specialises in business law.
As well, consider the style, tone, and details to include in the document. Relationships and roles of recipients should be taken into consideration.
The purpose of research is to find information and relevant facts that can make your document persuasive. If you are writing a legal document for a patent lawyer, then you would need to check the patent laws to make sure your document is relevant. In addition, make sure you check the details of the document format to ensure your paper meets all legal requirements.
Maintain Concision And Clarity
To minimise ambiguity, confusion, and costly errors, your legal document should be succinct and properly organised. There should be no vague sections. Concentrate on the major points and only use technical terms and complex expressions as needed. Examine the work of other professional writers in your speciality to gain insight into what to create.
Professional writers on websites like Mercury News provide up-to-date coverage of the state’s most pressing issues, which you may find helpful when handling complex legal cases. Plus, custom writers conduct extensive research and proofread their documents to ensure they are clear and engaging. They aren’t the only ones though. Other platforms also provide access to sample documents of different legal cases that will enhance your writing skills.
Legal writing is complicated and necessitates a thorough comprehension of its complexities. If you incorporate the above-discussed principles into your profession, you will achieve the desired results.