The saying “practise makes perfect” is particularly true in the field of legal writing. Legal writing, in contrast to ordinary corporate communication, is used to offer a fair examination of a problem and persuade others of its validity. Legal transcription services assist attorneys with text conversion of audio and video records of various hearings. Legal papers can be divided into various categories, including pleadings, correspondence, motions, legal memoranda, interrogatories, agreements, and discovery. Legal professionals must follow a standard format and ensure error-free content when creating papers to be presented in court or communicate information to clients. These days, they can do it thanks to a wide variety of digital writing tools.
Software Tools to Ease and Improve Legal Writing
Grammarly: Grammarly is a potent, no-cost online and web-based grammar checker that may enhance the authoring of a wide range of documents, including memos, writs of supersedeas, general emails, and demand letters. This programme examines spelling, grammar, style, and readability while offering proofreading recommendations. The tool’s services are accessible when you use Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, and other platforms because it has browser extension capabilities for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox. This application also includes a plagiarism detector, a thesaurus, a dictionary, and resources for grammar. You can establish your goals based on audience, formality, domain, tone, and intent when you put your material into the app’s document. You can choose to accept the suggestions you agree with from the tool. A premium alternative is also available through Grammarly to have important documents proofread by a real person.
BriefCatch: A powerful, user-friendly legal editing tool called BriefCatch can spot frequent errors and point out potential advocacy possibilities. This Microsoft Word Add-in feature provides real-time editing recommendations. It can tidy up citations and fix legal grammatical errors. Other features include formatting citations, professional guidance, and regular updates. In order to optimise its editing rules and generate BriefCatch scores, it draws on the most recent advancements in natural language processing, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. You can learn more about your writing style and word choices using BriefCatch.
Google Docs: Teams can work concurrently and in real-time on documents using Google Docs, a free online word processing tool, from any place. Your work is automatically saved by Google Docs and is safely stored in the cloud. Although this tool was not created expressly for lawyers, you can make it more useful by integrating it with Grammarly.
PerfectIT: Pairing this mass-market tool with American Legal Style yields the finest results It was created by attorneys, for lawyers. It may quickly identify legal errors in your writing after scanning it. Only lawyers and qualified legal editors would know what to look for among the 13,000 legal-specific checks in PerfectIT. Legal practitioners can swiftly apply the principles, style, guidelines, and writing approaches to produce straightforward, consistent legal documents by utilising the best legal writing advice. The editing and proofreading process is made simpler by PerfectIT and American Legal Style, which also helps save lawyers’ valuable time.
Scrivner: This resource is a fantastic choice for conducting legal research as well as producing briefs. You may dissect a lengthy article, legal opinion, or brief into its component parts and read each portion on the screen. Lawyers can arrange and produce complex papers with this application. The “tree-based method” it employs makes navigation easier. It gives the reader control over how information is presented and progresses, which makes it simpler to comprehend and assimilate. For visual learners, this navigation tool makes it possible to show the information visually. With the help of Scrivner’s various annotation options, including project notes, document notes, comments, footnotes, and labels, you may go back to the text later and uncover crucial details.
Hemingway Editor: Sentences in the passive voice, words that are excessively long or complex, complex sentences, and sentences that are “extremely” difficult to read are all flagged by this app’s color-coded highlighters. According to readability, a grade is given. According to the app’s website, it tries to make your writing “strong and clear.” There are both a paid and a free version of Hemingway Editor.
Microsoft Word’s Readability Statistics: The average sentence length, the percentage of passive voice usage, general readability, and reading level all have an impact on how clear a document is. The readability statistics in Word assess each of these elements. Lawyers are urged to keep sentences as brief as possible, therefore the words-per-sentence estimate is extremely important for them (20 words or fewer). Similar to how it is recommended for lawyers to use the active voice only, the determination of the percentage of passive sentences is also highly important.
Cliché Finder: You can use Cliché Finder to evaluate your writing for cliched, overused, or clichéd words, phrases, and expressions. Simply copy and paste your text into the tool, and it will identify any overused expressions so you may replace them with more accurate material.
When you’re trying to convey information to judges, other lawyers, and clients, you need to ensure clear and concise content that leave little room for doubt, questions, and confusion.
Here are some tips to improve your basic writing skills:
- Focus on your purpose
- Create content to target your audience
- Do your research well
- Pay attention to document structure
- Ensure clarity
- Minimize use of jargon
- Edit and proofread
- Rely on feedback and constructive criticism
There are legal writing tools available that can help you write better, whether you’re writing inter-office memos and letters to clients, preparing documents to be presented to a court or administrative body on behalf of a client, or producing legal documents like contracts and wills. Pick a capable legal transcription service when it comes to typing up recorded audio and video content.