How Lawyers Can Improve Their Legal Drafting Skills


How Lawyers Can Improve Their Legal Drafting Skills
Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy

1/21/2018

Lawyers regularly engage in legal drafting for various purposes to present relevant information in a structured manner. Producing these documents requires drafting skills that are imperative for a lawyer to be successful, but sometimes so much of this work can stack up that the law firm must outsource drafting work to legal transcription services.

Basics of Legal Drafting

A legal draft must be presented in a professional style that identifies important business dealings, client intentions, client agreements with other parties, and legal requirements that are relevant to the case. Here are some of the common reasons for legal drafting:

  • litigation complaints
  • instructions for a jury
  • articles of incorporation for business
  • employment contracts
  • written interview questions
  • memorandums to clients

The draft needs to be clear about the respective rights and obligations of the parties involved. If it's a business transaction, it must include essential financial data and identify the buyer and seller. No matter what the subject matter is, the document should be well structured and logical with clear intentions of legal actions.

Although there may be different ways to present a legal draft depending on the intended audience, it must encompass the elements of structure, logic, and clarity. Every client has unique needs that you must take into account. Drafts for clients need to explain both the issues and the law, along with a recommendation for legal action.

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Essential Drafting Skills

It's imperative that the legal text is easy to read and is written in a clear and concise manner. The text must not contain poor grammar or typos. Proofreading and editing are essential steps to ensuring that the legal transcription is flawless in terms of grammar and spelling. When it comes to the legal profession, even the smallest errors must be eliminated to maintain credibility.

One of the main challenges of writing legal drafts is to keep the language simple to avoid confusion. You must always reach common ground with your audience in order to make an effective presentation. While authors and journalists often try to use fancy words or phrases that are open to interpretation to dress up their writing, lawyers must avoid this style. At the same time, making every word count is an effective goal.

Steps to Planning a Legal Draft

  1. focus on the purpose before planning the document
  2. understand the target reader
  3. use active voice and action words
  4. avoid jargon or uncommon language
  5. edit the draft to ensure it is error-free

Planning a legal draft is usually done in a systematic way with an emphasis on achieving precision. You must first have a clear understanding of the action you have been asked to take. Whether it involves giving advice, updating records, filing a complaint or numerous other scenarios, you must be able to explain clearly all the facts and issues relevant to that particular case.

Conclusion

Legal drafts are meant to both inform and persuade the intended audience. Lawyers can outsource a legal transcription service to help speed up the workflow and enhance the writing quality. A professional legal transcriptionist will make sure the document is well edited. Outsourcing legal drafts allows attorneys to spend more time working with their clients.

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Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy

Beth Worthy is the President for GMR Transcription Services, Inc an Orange County, California based company that has been providing accurate and affordable transcription services since 2004. She has enjoyed success at GMR for almost ten years now and has helped the company grow. Within two years of Beth managing GMR Transcription, it had doubled in sales and was named one of the OC Business Journal’s fastest-growing private companies. Outside of work, she likes spending time with her husband and two kids.