So Many Useless Words, So Little Time

In a blog titled “Words That Can Ruin Your Sentence,” Dictionary.com calls the unnecessary words we speak “crutch words.” In a recent tweet headlined “Words de Doom,” Appellate Twitter calls unnecessary words we write “verbal tics.” Whatever we call them, we use unnecessary words for a reason: when speaking, it’s to give ourselves time to think about what we want to say next—so, well, actually—when writing, it’s usually because we don’t know they’re unnecessary.

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The Perfect Brief Part 1 - Winning with Ethics

Today and each week for the next 12 weeks, the lawyers at WordRake will explore the most ubiquitous form of a law practice—brief-writing: from the ethics to the psychology, to introducing your case, gathering your facts, presenting the facts, building arguments, persuading judges, and proofreading to make your brief the best you can make it in the time you have. We will give you checklists and teach you techniques you can learn only at WordRake from lawyers who have taught tens of thousands of litigators how to win more cases; even how to get that first draft down in 21 minutes. Our goal is to make your professional life easier by helping you understand the whole process at a deeper level—what really moves a judge to say, “Yes.”

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Write A Strong Personal Statement with These Four Tips

Selecting potential schools, taking standardized tests, and securing letters of recommendation stress out students and professionals applying for college, fellowships, and graduate school; but more than any other part of the application process, many fear writing their personal statement. And with good reason: competitive programs look to personal statements to distinguish between otherwise similar applicants. You can prepare your best personal statement with these tips:

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Q&A with Ivy B. Grey, WordRake's Newest Hire

We sat down with the newest member of the WordRake team, Ivy B. Grey, after completing her first month on the job. Ivy joined us in early November as our Director of Business Strategy. A legal tech entrepreneur and former lawyer, Ivy brings a wealth of knowledge to the WordRake team, and we’re excited to sit down with her and hear her progress and vision for the future.

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Five-Step Editing Checklist for Your Thesis (And One Quick Way to Check Your Thesis for Free)

Your thesis is the cornerstone of your degree. A thesis demonstrates a commitment to your field of study; you want to contribute to your areas of interest, not just learn about them. It encapsulates the years of work you’ve put into your degree. But it’s also one of the main sources of stress for your final year of your program.

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Five Practical Ways to Put Writing Advice into Action

Advice to improve your legal writing can sound flippant. How many times have you heard:

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Nine Tips to Upgrade Your Resume

The best way to build a strong resume is to update it regularly, not just when you’re looking for a new job. Whether you're applying for your first job or your fourteenth, we have nine tips to ensure your resume is updated, concise, and well-formatted.

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How to Write the Perfect Memorandum -  Part 8 - Memo Language Editing Exercise

The memorandum opening below was written by a partner at a big firm. It is filled with examples of two of the three categories of "memo language" we discussed last week. The two paragraphs total 155 words. Start by removing the "obvious" statements and the sentences used to "explain the organization." Then see if you can reduce what remains to about 30 words.

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How to Write the Perfect Memo - Part 7 - Streamlining the Memo

Last week, in Part 6 of the WordRake series How to Write the Perfect Memorandum, we explained how to keep clients happy by opening a substantive email with your conclusion and suggested action. In the short installment this week, we show how and why to remove the thick wads of "memo language" that prevent your reader from understanding the situation or knowing what to do about it. 

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How to Write the Perfect Memo - Part 6 - Introducing the Client Email

Last week, in Part 5 of the WordRake series How to Write the Perfect Memorandum, we looked at the Issue Memorandum, which considers the facts and the law in assessing a client's case. This week, we discuss how to introduce a substantive email to a client. 

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About Gary Kinder

Gary Kinder
Gary Kinder has taught over 1,000 writing programs for the American Bar Association, the Social Security Administration, PG&E, Kraft, Microsoft, and law firms like Jones Day, Sidley, and WilmerHale. His critically-acclaimed Ship of Gold in the Deep Blue Sea hit #7 on the New York Times Bestsellers List.

In 2012, Gary and his team of engineers created WordRake editing software to provide writers a full-time, reliable editor; to save them time and money; and to give them the confidence their writing is as clear and concise as they can make it. The U.S. Patent & Trademark Office has awarded nine patents to WordRake's unique technology, and Harvard Law School has recognized WordRake as "Disruptive Innovation."