Legal writing is practically one of the most common activities in legal practice. Lawyers have to work with the text to complete every legal task. The importance of writing in the legal profession continues to grow as the profession evolves, including individual legal practice. The diverse nature of the profession further amplifies the importance of legal writing. Contracts, deeds, letters, arguments, claims, memos, articles, and many other forms of written documents employed by lawyers require a good level of legal writing skills to secure that all the documentation is properly executed.
Legal Writing as a Process
Legal writing is much more complicated than it might seem at the beginning. It involves conducting research, taking extensive notes, drafting, editing, and rewriting, depending on the nature of the document being created. It is a recurring activity that requires a great deal of meticulousness and advanced skills.
In modern times, lawyers can enjoy faster and more effective work by the adoption of technological tools. Client meetings, information sharing, and document preparation have taken new dimensions. Legal writing is the aspect of the legal profession which has been affected the most by these tools, due to its unavoidable presence in practically every legal task performed by lawyers. Certain legal tools have been created by software developers to aid writing processes for people around the world. For instance, with legal document writing software, the process of improving legal contracts has become much smoother. There is a variety of other tools aimed at helping lawyers in the processes of drafting, rewriting, and editing.
The name practically says it all. Grammarly is a writing and editing software that improves the quality of grammar in any piece of writing. Grammarly identifies the text that contains redundant words, grammatical errors, passive sentences, and statements that may be unnecessarily long. It also identifies the percentage of uniqueness of a piece of writing, which is crucial to every piece of legal writing. Any text that goes through Grammarly becomes more coherent, contains shorter and more understandable sentences, and becomes free of minor and major grammatical errors.
When it comes to writing instruments that simplify the life of lawyers, Google Docs is among the best and most beneficial tools. Google Docs is an online software hosted by Google for document creation and collaborative editing. The nature of legal work requires a lot of collaboration between colleagues, either for co-authorship or editing. With google docs, multiple lawyers can have real-time access to the same document, with the option to edit the same document through their personal devices. Members of the group simply need to have google emails, with which they can be added as editors on each document. This software allows faster completion of tasks and decreases the likelihood of errors in completed pieces of writing.
Hemingway Editor is another valuable tool that serves lawyers in their legal writing process. As described by the platform, Hemingway Editor aims at making your writing “bold and clear,” which is simply what any lawyer asks for during legal writing. Similar to Grammarly, Hemingway Editor analyzes sentences in your writing and highlights minor flaws and major errors. The software highlights certain questionable features of sentences in any writing, including sentences that are in the passive voice, unnecessarily complex, or just difficult to read. It also grades the entire piece of writing based on “readability”. Thus, it gives a lawyer an idea of what should be changed to improve the final result. Hemingway editor indeed has a bold approach to editing and critiquing any writing, which is ultimately aimed at bringing long-term benefits for a lawyer.
Marinara Timer is indeed a platform that aims to “improve your life” more than just improving your writing. Lawyers are known to feel lost in their work, especially when there is a huge pile of tasks waiting to be completed (the situation that occurs practically all the time). Marinara Timer serves as a reminder to take breaks from writing at intervals, in order to stay levelheaded and truly productive, and avoid an emotional burnout. It allows a writer (a lawyer, in this regard) select any method of writing-break ratio, depending on how it suits an ultimate purpose, to organize a perfect schedule and time-management.
Copyscape is just one of the best available editing tools for lawyers and other legal writers. The software is an online toolbox that h assists in analyzing a document and identifying the plagiarized parts of any text. It practically scans the entire internet to determine the level of plagiarism in a document and identifies the plagiarized parts accordingly. This software is hugely beneficial for lawyers since it also sometimes points out the need for quotation marks, due to the frequency of citations used by lawyers in preparing legal documents.
All forms of writing, including legal, creative, or any other form, are a naturally isolating and painstaking process. For this reason, it is important to make the process as seamless as possible, while maintaining the expected level of quality of writing. The above-highlighted tools have been developed specifically for that purpose. Other tools serving similar purposes, which may also be explored, include Copyscape (for checking plagiarism), BriefCatch (for real-time writing suggestions and feedback), and Cliché Finder, (for the obvious reason – finding clichés).