Writing Tips

Legal Writing

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The Best Way to Open a Client Letter (Part 2 of 3)

The Second Sentence – Your Conclusion

The second sentence is the most important sentence in a client letter: your CONCLUSION. Yet a client often has to read eight or ten pages to find out he has a problem. It’s as though the lawyer wants to build suspense.

A Typical Second Sentence:

The Complaint includes additional causes of action but they are derivative from the contract and overtime allegations, and we have elected not to complicate our analysis with ancillary matters. Furthermore, we do not address the legal strategies that . . . . Instead, we focus exclusively upon . . . .

I, the client, am busy. I have no time to read about how my lawyer organized her memorandum; I care about nothing, except the answer to my question: Do I have a problem? Tell me I do, tell me I don’t; then I will decide whether to keep reading.

A Better Way:

I have concluded that the vast majority of your Illinois part-time supervisors are not exempt, because they do not satisfy the “duties” tests that apply prior to January 1, 2012.

The Second Sentence should always be your CONCLUSION. If your client wants to read how you arrived at that Conclusion, he can; if he doesn’t want to, he doesn’t have to. This makes clients happy.

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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.