16 Legal Writing Pros to Follow on Twitter

A common complaint about lawyers is that we rarely get out and connect with other humans. Failing to connect leads to a general lack of empathy, hoarding of knowledge, poor training and mentorship, and reinforced social hierarchy.

You’d expect that it would only get worse if you combined lawyers with Twitter since the social media platform is widely regarded as a fast-paced collection of fake news and misdirected rage. Imagine my surprise when I joined Twitter and saw that the world of law was much different!

In my experience, the Twitter legal community shares information freely, collaborates, challenges ideology, and mentors and supports one another. Some professors host online chats, some moot each other’s arguments, and still others travel from afar to watch their Twitter friends argue an appeal. Overall, Twitter is a great place to connect, learn, and share.

Hashtags to Follow

If you’re new to Twitter, start by following two hashtags: #legalwriting and #appellatetwitter. If you’d like to be involved in the broader writing community, consider following #writingcommunity or #plainlanguage. If you’re interested in legal writing software, be sure to follow #legaltech. For the uninitiated, hashtags are a way to tag Tweets (aka posts) so they may be sorted and discovered by topic.

People to Follow

Here’s my list of legal writing accounts to follow on Twitter, in alphabetical order by last name. No accounts exist primarily to sell you anything or shame your writing. The account owners are real people sharing information and participating in the community.

1. Ken Bresler – @LawWritingCoach

Bresler is a legal writing coach. He taught advanced legal writing at Northeastern University Law School. He is also the author of Mark Twain vs. Lawyers, Lawmakers, and Lawbreakers: Humorous Observations (2014).

1 Ken Bresler

2. Prof. Alexa Chew – @aznchew

Chew is a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law and the author of textbook The Complete Legal Writer (2016). I discovered Chew through her insightful discussion of legal citations in three articles: “Citation Literacy,” “Stylish Legal Citation,” and “Citation Stickiness” (with Kevin Bennardo).

2 Alexa Chew

3. Prof. Joe Fore – @Joe_Fore

Fore is a professor at the University of Virginia School of Law and he is a part of Legal Writing Institute, the second largest organization of law professors in the United States. I found Fore while researching ways to modernize legal writing classes. He wrote “The Comparative Benefits of Standalone Email Assignments in the First-Year Legal Writing Curriculum.”

3 Joe Fore

4. Prof. Rachel Gurvich – @RachelGurvich

Gurvich is a professor at the University of North Carolina School of Law and she is the host of Practice Tuesday, a weekly Twitter discussion about the practice of law.

4 Rachel Gurvich

5. Kendyl Hanks – @HanksKendyl

Hanks is trial litigator and appellate advocate with Greenberg Traurig in Texas. She is also the co-founder of the @LadyLawyerDiary Twitter group.

5 Kendyl Hanks

6. Prof. Margaret Hannon – @mch_tweets

Hannon is a professor at the University of Michigan School of Law. She is also an associate editor for Legal Communication & Rhetoric: JALWD, the journal of the Association of Legal Writing Directors.

6 Margaret Hannon

7. Prof. Joe Kimble – @ProfJoeKimble

Kimble is a professor emeritus at WMU—Cooley Law School. He is a well-known plain language advocate and the author of Writing for Dollars, Writing to Please: The Case for Plain Language in Business, Government, and Law (2012). Kimble is the senior editor of The Scribes Journal of Legal Writing and the longtime editor of the “Plain Language” column in the Michigan Bar Journal.

7 Joseph Kimble

8. Prof. Katrina Lee – @katrinajunelee

Lee is a professor at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law where she writes and presents on the business of law, ethics, and legal writing. She is the author of the textbook The Legal Career: Knowing the Business, Thriving in Practice (2017).

8 Katrina Lee

9. Sean Marotta – @smmarotta

Marotta is an appellate lawyer at Hogan Lovells in Washington, D.C. and is an active member of the #appellatetwitter group.

9 Sean Marotta

10. Prof. Ellie Margolis – @EllieMargolis

Margolis is a professor at Temple University Beasley School of Law and she is an expert on appellate brief writing and advocacy. I love her article “Say Goodbye to the Books: Information Literacy as the New Legal Research Paradigm” and her 10 legal writing tips for students.

10 Ellie Margolis

11. Raffi Melkonian – @RMFifthCircuit

Melkonian is an appellate lawyer at Wright, Close & Barger in Texas and is an active member of the #appellatetwitter group. He maintains a crowd-sourced document of overused crutch words called Words de Doom, which was referenced in So Many Useless Words, So Little Time. He is also the Chair-Elect of the Houston Bar Association’s Federal Practice Section.

11 Raffi Melkonian

12. Prof. Anne Ralph – @aerwrites

Ralph is a professor at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, where her scholarship focuses on the intersection of law and narrative.

12 Anne Ralph

13. Prof. Joe Regalia – @writedotlaw

Regalia is a professor at University of Nevada-Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law where his research and teaching focuses on legal writing, persuasion science, and technology and innovation. He is a prolific writer for various ABA publications and for Law Professor Blogs Network. He is also the founder of Write.Law.

13 Joe Regalia

14. Prof. Jennifer Romig – @JenniferMRomig

Romig is a professor at Emory Law School and also runs the Listen Like a Lawyer blog. I discovered her through her article “The Legal Writer’s Checklist Manifesto.”

14 Jennifer Romig

15. Prof. Beth Wilensky – @bethwilensky

Wilensky is a professor at the University of Michigan School of Law. I discovered her through her article, “When Should We Teach Our Students to Pay Attention to the Costs of Legal Research?”

15 Beth Wilensky

16. Prof. David Ziff – @djsziff

Ziff is a lecturer at the University of Washington School of Law. I discovered him through his hilarious article about the Bluebook: “Book Review of The Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation—The Worst System of Citation Except for All the Others“ (2017).

16 David Ziff

BONUS! Anne Janzer – @AnneJanzer

Janzer is a business writing coach and my new favorite writer. She is the author of Writing To Be Understood and The Workplace Writer’s Process. Both books apply to legal writing and are immensely helpful for managing the writing process in a law firm setting.

Anne Janzer

Organizations to Follow

While you’re building your community, consider following these two organizations that publish outstanding journals addressing legal writing: past, present, future, pedagogy, and instruction.

1. Legal Communication & Rhetoric – @JALWD

The journal is a publication of the Association of Legal Writing Directors. ALWD is a nonprofit professional association with over 300 members representing over 150 law schools around the world.

LC&R

2. The Legal Writing Institute – @LWIonline

The Legal Writing Institute is a nonprofit dedicated to improving legal communication and legal writing. Its most well-known publications are The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute and Second Draft.

LWI

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Conclusion

By joining the online legal writing community, you can make writing improvement a part of your daily life. When you’re ready to take the next step, let WordRake help you tighten and tone your legal writing at the push of a button. WordRake uses complex, patented algorithms to find needless words, weak lead-ins, clichés, dull phrases, redundancies, unnecessary modifiers, and more. Then it presents its suggestions to you in the familiar track-changes style. It can make any document clearer and shorter. Try WordRake free for seven days!

About the Author

Ivy B. Grey is the Vice President of Strategy and Business Development for WordRake. Prior to joining the team, she practiced bankruptcy law for ten years. In 2018, Ivy was recognized as a Fastcase 50 Honoree and included in the Women of Legal Tech list by the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center. Follow Ivy on Twitter @IvyBGrey or connect with her on LinkedIn.

 

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.