The Perfect Brief Part 3 - Opening with Your Own Case

Judges, mediators, and other decision-makers live with major distractions. We need to capture their attention in the first sentence. Too often, we use that opening sentence—and sometimes several paragraphs—to overwhelm the judge with minutiae or to present the other side’s case.

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The Perfect Brief Part 2 - Thinking Like a Judge

As we discussed last time, the more we stay within the bounds of judicial decorum and decency, the more likely we are to prevail. If we let ethics guide our brief-writing, the system wins, the profession wins, society wins, and our client is more likely to win. If being respectful and diligent in our briefs had no upside, we could not in good faith recommend it; but beneath any discussion about how to write a brief lies a dependable truth: Our approaching brief-writing with “fairness” in mind is much better for our clients.

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How to Draft a Memo in 21 Minutes

Carving two or three hours out of our meeting-filled, media-riddled day to focus on starting a memorandum is nearly impossible. But we can usually preserve pockets of 20 to 30 minutes. Don’t assume such a short chunk of time is worthless—21 minutes is all you need to get started. This article will help you quickly write a first draft that can become an impressive memo.

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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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Our Story

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WordRake founder Gary Kinder has taught over 1,000 writing programs for AMLAW 100 firms, Fortune 500 companies, and government agencies. He’s also a New York Times bestselling author. As a writing expert and coach, Gary was inspired to create WordRake when he noticed a pattern in writing errors that he thought he could address with technology.

In 2012, Gary and his team of engineers created WordRake editing software to help writers produce clear, concise, and effective prose. It runs in Microsoft Word and Outlook, and its suggested changes appear in the familiar track-changes style. It saves time and gives confidence. Writing and editing has never been easier.