Writing Tips

Legal Writing

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How to Irritate Clients (Part 1 of 3)

Explain to them how you organized your memorandum.

The clients don’t care. Yet we often ramble around in a memorandum explaining things. To the client it sounds like:

"I’ve got real important things to tell you, BUT FIRST let me take up gobs of your time reviewing how I’ve laid all this out. I’m so pleased."

Here’s a typical example:

Set forth below is a general summary of the relevant representations, warranties, and other provisions of the agreements, followed by more specific discussions of the application of these provisions to each case. Before discussing the potential claims, it is important to note that certain practical matters may bear upon the analysis of whether . . . .

Here’s how much of it the client needs:

Set forth below is a general summary of the relevant representations, warranties, and other provisions of the agreements, followed by more specific discussions of the application of these provisions to each case. Before discussing the potential claims, it is important to note that certain practical matters may bear upon the analysis of whether . . . .

And another:

Set forth below is an overview of the general strategic and legal considerations that will be important in developing the strategy of Allied to respond to a possible proxy contest.

All the client wants to read is:

Set forth below is an overview of the general strategic and legal considerations that will be important in developing the strategy of Allied to respond to a possible proxy contest. If Allied finds itself in a proxy contest, it has three options:

You wouldn’t have time to sort through this verbiage; your clients don’t either. Get to the point.

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About Gary Kinder

Gary Kinder

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 saves time and gives confidence. Writing and editing has never been easier.

WordRake takes you beyond the merely grammatical to the truly great—the quality editor you’ve always wanted. See for yourself.

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How Does it Work?

WordRake is editing software designed by writing expert and New York Times bestselling author Gary Kinder. Like an editor or helpful colleague, WordRake ripples through your document checking for needless words and cumbersome phrases. Its complex algorithms find and improve weak lead-ins, confusing language, and high-level grammar and usage slips.

WordRake runs in Microsoft Word and Outlook, and its suggestions appear in the familiar track-changes style. If you’ve used track changes, you already know how to use WordRake. There’s nothing to learn and nothing to interpret. Editing for clarity and brevity has never been easier.