Q:

What are some tips for paralegals to write a case brief?

A:

Quick Answer

Paralegals can write better case briefs by brushing up on grammar, studying professionally written legal documents, using outlines and creating sentences using concise language. Substitute abstract legal words with easily understood concrete words, and write using an active voice.

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Full Answer

Paralegals can take a writing skills class to review basic grammar and sentence structure techniques, including where to place commas and other punctuation. Use reference resources such as a dictionary or thesaurus and writing skills books such as "The Elements of Style." Paralegals can also study Supreme Court legal briefs and opinions to see how court proceedings are described in challenging cases. Learn legal sentence structure, word usage and tone by reviewing various legal pleadings and research documents. Creating an outline for a legal brief keeps the document organized.

Approach legal brief writing in a pragmatic way by writing in a tightly worded fashion that avoids filler. When possible, substitute legal terms that have abstract meanings with clear, concise words that are easily understandable by the average reader. Use simple words and bullet-pointed lists to make briefs simpler to read. Strong headlines and sub-headings break up long blocks of text, making reading easier on the eyes. Proofread for errors, and have an associate review the brief for mistakes.

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