Write Like the Best Legal Writers

Improve your practice by sharpening your legal writing skills with Justia Webinars! Write Like the Best Legal Writers discusses the craft of legal writing, how lawyers can improve their legal writing skills, and why writing matters. Attendees will examine various examples that illustrate the five main strategies for improved legal writing: writing for non-lawyers, building a story arc, using shorter sentences, words, and smaller ideas, eliminating passive voice, and reading the final draft out loud.


  • Introduction to Improving Your Legal Writing
    • What are the common issues in poor or passable legal writing?
    • What are the characteristics of strong legal writing?

  • How to Write Like the Best Legal Writers
    • Write for a non-lawyer audience
    • Build a story arc
    • Use shorter sentences and smaller ideas
    • Eliminate passive voice and wordiness
    • Finalize by reading aloud
    • A study of three passages by three renowned legal writers

  • Legal Writing Resources
    • Ross Guberman, Point Made: How to Write Like the Nation's Best Advocates
    • Bryan A. Garner, The Winning Brief
    • Stephen V. Armstrong, Timothy Terrell, et al., Thinking Like a Writer: A Lawyer's Guide to Effective Writing and Editing
    • Using spell check, grammar check, Grammarly, and ChatGPT

  • ChatGPT and Legal Writing: Round Table Discussion
    • Can ChatGPT and AI make writing more efficient?
    • Are there ethical issues in using AI for legal writing?
    • What are some other AI tools for legal writing beyond ChatGPT?
    • Identifying sentences written by ChatGPT
    • How will AI affect law practice?

  • Questions & Answers
Topics covered include: Practice Skills
Duration of this webinar: 60 minutes
Originally broadcast: February 03, 2023 11:00 AM PT
Continuing Legal Education (CLE) Credits

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California CLE

Status: Approved

Credits: 1.0 General

Earn Credit Until: November 16, 2024

South Carolina CLE

Status: Approved

Credits: 1.0 General

Difficulty: All Levels

Earn Credit Until: December 31, 2024

North Carolina CLE

Status: Approved

Credits: 1.0 General

Earn Credit Until: February 28, 2025

Texas CLE

Status: Approved

Credits: 1.0 General

Earn Credit Until: January 31, 2025

This presentation is approved for one hour of General CLE credit in California, South Carolina (all levels), and North Carolina. This course has been approved for Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit by the State Bar of Texas Committee on MCLE in the amount of 1.0 credit hours.

Justia only reports attendance in jurisdictions in which a particular Justia CLE Webinar is officially accredited. Lawyers may need to self-submit their certificates for CLE credit in jurisdictions not listed above.

Note that CLE credit, including partial credit, cannot be earned outside of the relevant accreditation period. To earn credit for a course, a lawyer must watch the entire course within the relevant accreditation period. Lawyers who have viewed a presentation multiple times may not be able to claim credit in their jurisdiction more than once.

At this time, Justia only offers CLE courses officially accredited in certain states. Lawyers may generate a generic attendance certificate to self-submit credit in their own jurisdiction, but Justia does not guarantee that lawyers will receive their desired CLE credit through the self-submission or reciprocity process.

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David Kemp
David Kemp Adjunct Writing Professor at Rutgers Law School
David Kemp is an adjunct professor at Rutgers Law School and former legal writing professor at the University of California, Berkeley School of Law. He teaches legal writing and professional responsibility. He is also the managing editor of Verdict, a website offering legal analysis and commentary, and The Oyez Project. He received his BA in psychology from Rice University and his JD from Berkeley Law, where he served as the Senior Executive Editor of the California Law Review and co-Editor-in-Chief of the Berkeley Journal of African-American Law & Policy.
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