Writing Tips

Legal Writing

Our best writing tip? Edit for clarity and brevity with WordRake. It’s an automated in-line editor that checks for needless words, cumbersome phrases, clichés, and more.

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The Most Annoying "Words" Lawyers Use

Why Needless Abbreviations Hurt Your Case


By using abbreviations, we irritate and confuse judges, clients, the public, and each other. If we “define” a name with an abbreviation, our readers have to reconstruct the name from the abbreviation every time they read it.


Senior Judge Laurence Silberman, U.S. Court of Appeals, District of Columbia Circuit, recently chastised lawyers for


abbreviating every conceivable agency and statute involved, familiar or not, and littering their briefs with references to ‘SNF,’ ‘HLW,’ ‘NWF,’ ‘NWPA,’ and ‘BRC.’


Use abbreviations only for entities the public knows by their abbreviation: ATT, IRS, NPR, NRA, NOW. But rather than call the “United States Coast Guard” the “USCG,” call it the “Coast Guard.” Instead of reducing “Sauk-Suiattle Indian Tribe” to “SSIT,” call them the “tribe.”


Avoiding abbreviations makes your writing smoother and more accessible.

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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.