5 Tips and Tricks for Writing Effective Legal Briefs

April 17, 2012 — 1,188 views  

There are many documents that must be presented during a legal proceeding, but none are more important than a legal brief. This documentation constitutes both the prosecution's and the defendant's chance to present a brief written argument on why they should prevail, and may be a major deciding factor in a jury's decision. However, there are a few different tips you should keep in mind when composing a legal brief.

1.) Honesty is the best policy - As with any legal endeavor, you must ensure that you remain completely honest. There should be no evasive language or points that could be misinterpreted. If you do not follow this rule, your case will get thrown out and you might be subject to further legal prosecution.

2.) Get a fresh set of eyes - You will never be able to see certain grammatical and style errors without the help of a proper editor. Have a few friends or legal colleagues review the document and be sure to make all necessary revisions. This might mean rewriting the brief two or three times.

3.) Be creative, but not fluffy - The great thing about legal writing is that it allows for creative language. However, make sure to maintain an authoritative, informative tone throughout - do not go off on extensive tangents or use rhetorical phrasing.

4.) Be aware of page limits and other restrictions - Certain judges and courts have restrictions on brief length, so be sure to research these beforehand to avoid any unpleasant results.

5.) Read other briefs for examples - Precedent is very important in any legal case. Read through briefs from similar cases to gather ideas on how to best write your own document.