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High-quality writing is one of the crafts most necessary to a successful career in law. Mature legal professionals, lawyers, judges, and law professors write every day. Often, they write cooperatively--editing and redrafting a shared document. Nevertheless, those trained in the law may lack a common language that enables them to talk with each other about writing. Like the workers building the tower in the biblical story of Babel, legal professionals sometimes find themselves unable to communicate about their work.

Unlike most subjects in the legal academy, legal writing has emerged as an area of serious study in law schools only in the last fifteen years. As this new area develops, legal writing professionals create a diverse professional language that both illuminates and obscures the substance of the new discipline. Paradoxically, the new terminology, which should be instrumental in eventually creating greater understanding of the writing process, has created short-term confusion.

Publication Citation

85 Marq. L. Rev. 887 (2002).