How to Write Like a Lawyer

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Anyone can learn to write like a lawyer, regardless of education level or legal expertise. All it takes is a basic understanding of form, structure and organization. Here are some tips to help you write like a lawyer.

Identify the issue. When writing a memorandum or a report, start off by describing the issues to be addressed, and the purpose of the document. Keep this preliminary statement short and simple.

Describe any rules governing the resolution of the issues. If the issues to be addressed in your writing have to be decided under certain laws or rules, lay them out for the reader.

Make your argument. Present the facts that support your position. Compare your case to similar situations in which a favorable result was reached. Distinguish your case from those similar situations that may have been decided differently. Analyze why the rules support the resolution you are seeking.

Acknowledge any counter-arguments. It won't help your case to ignore any valid arguments that can be made by the other side. Address these arguments and explain why your situation is different. Explain simply and logically why your position should prevail.

State the conclusion. Tell the reader exactly what you are seeking to accomplish and explain why that conclusion is justified.


  • Avoid legalese. Readers appreciate clarity and brevity.


  • The acronym IRACC (Issue, Rule, Argument, Counter-argument, Conclusion) is helpful for remembering these tips.

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