A compelling legal brief will lead you to win any case in court- Well, that’s the power of brief writing. Throughout your career as a legal professional, you’ll be judged on two crucial skills- interpersonal and writing skills. Words in the legal industry can make or break your career as an attorney because the way you brief cases is what indeed shows how well you can fight the case in court.
What is a legal brief, and why is it important?
A crucial document in the legal profession, a legal brief serves to persuade a court in favor of a client’s position. It functions as a written argument presenting relevant facts and laws supporting the client’s legal stance. The significance of a well-crafted brief lies in its potential to convince a judge’s decision, profoundly impacting the case’s outcome.
The importance of a legal brief is rooted in its capacity to articulate a clear and compelling argument before a court. It is a persuasive tool for lawyers, convincing the judge to rule favorably for their client. Additionally, the brief serves as a valuable organizational tool, helping lawyers structure their thoughts and identify any vulnerabilities in their cases.
Typically encompassing a statement of facts, a summary of relevant laws, and the lawyer’s arguments and conclusions, a legal brief necessitates thorough research and articulate writing. Clarity and conciseness are paramount, ensuring ease of understanding. Furthermore, a well-organized structure, with each argument building upon the previous one, enhances the brief’s logical and persuasive impact.
In essence, the significance of a legal brief lies in its ability to empower lawyers to present a compelling argument to the court, ultimately shaping the case’s outcome.
How to write a legal brief:
1. Understand the problem of clients properly:
You cannot write a legal brief if you don’t understand the client’s issue. Make sure that you ask the client relevant questions and check all the documents provided. Make a note of everything and briefcases in a way that will help you further while arguing in court.
Your briefs should reflect what you are fighting for along with the situation of the client appropriately. Besides these, you should continuously stay abreast of various law brief books and studies related to your client’s case. Thus, proper research for writing a brief is also required.
2. Don’t blindly trust in the information available on the web:
While writing a legal brief, it is obvious that you’ll do your own research along with the answers provided by the client, and while jotting down everything, you will have to take references from various brief law books like Corpus Juris Secundum and American Jurisprudence.
Don’t forget to look at the indexes and digests of these books. Using the information from both the internet and law books, you can get better insights, which are ultimately reflected in your brief. More so, when it comes to web research, you always prefer to read Google Books, or you can also opt for legal brief writing services for quicker turnaround time and top quality.
3. Exclude words that are not important:
Try to avoid adjectives and adverbs from sentences as they do the same work and may make your brief appear cheesier. Make use of nouns and verbs appropriately, as they help to transform your sentences into an understandable legal brief format.
Also, avoid using hollow terms or phrases that don’t make sense. Furthermore, don’t repeat the information that your clients already know, as it will not help you in an argument, and you’ll seem like a first-timer to the court.
4. Always write a strong subject:
Being an attorney, you should always keep in mind that a solid subject leads to a persuasive sentence, as it means that someone is taking action. Sidestep terms like “It is” or “There is” appear to be a weak subject. Lawyers taking action usually choose to write a strong subject that highlights the entire case in the brief and makes it more interesting to read.
5. Maintain connectivity between the sentences:
While writing a legal brief, never go off track or subject, which confuses people, leading you to the list of unprofessional lawyers. Therefore, experts recommend that you should always maintain the required connectivity within your text to maintain a flow, which becomes easier for people who are reading it.
And how exactly can you create that connectivity in your brief? You have to make a subject that replicates or refers to the preceding context. You can also connect the sentence by beginning the sentence with a signal, alerting the reader about what you are going to introduce in the next line.
In such a scenario, try to use words like “Also,, or Furthermore,” and to introduce different points, use “First, Second, Third,” and so on.
6. Keep your introductory clause concise:
Writing long introductory clauses will take you nowhere, as these kinds of clauses obscure what you want to convey to the jury.
Make sure, while reading your legal brief, readers retain the relevant information before they move on to the subject line of the context. To put it across in a simple way, try to limit your introductory clauses to up to four words.
7. Use the right professional pitch that sounds natural, not casual:
Attorneys are taught the law school kind of English that they should use while writing any brief. How do you brief a legal case? It is matter of concern for lawyers. Despite Standard English, many inexperienced lawyers blithely forget their tone of being professional and end up writing informal things.
8. Proofread everything twice:
Attorneys should always read whatever they have written in their legal brief. Cross-verify the documents or answers provided by the client to make sure that you have briefed the case properly.
Proofread everything two or three times and edit it accordingly to avoid errors. In simple terms, your brief should be accurate and error-free.
9. Utilize the citations as per the requirement:
Don’t overuse the citations or add them at the beginning of the sentence. Citations should be used at the end of the sentence as it helps judges and attorneys to check the assertion because of citations. Many law professionals don’t use the citations properly and thus face reputational damage in court.
10. Always conclude the sentence using an emphasis point:
Keep in mind that the primary emphatic position in a sentence or clause is always at the end, so don’t forget to add the point there. Many lawyers misuse the place of emphasis by concluding the sentence with a date, party name, case name, or qualifying phrases unknowingly.
You don’t have to be one of them; thus, make sure to understand the sentence’s point and see whether it requires such emphasis or not. For example, in the sentence, “The person tested too small a sample from the floor,” – You can put the point of emphasis towards the end like “The sample that the person tested from the floor is too small.”
11. Adopt a digital approach:
Today, most judges are scrutinizing their legal briefs through the digital medium. The reason is that this saves them an ample amount of time and makes it imperative for your brief to be structured digitally, which can be read using a smartphone, tablet, or laptop from anywhere.
Top providers of Legal Support Services explain that it is also vital that your digital brief should be error-free as this makes it for the positive and negative impact of your brief and your pleadings. Try keeping your paragraphs concise and short, giving more exposure to the white space. Correct and persuasive meaning should be depicted from the headings and subheadings with respect to the context of the detailed brief.
The tips mentioned above are some of the expert tips that will help you file a persuasive legal brief and drive growth for your career as an attorney.