Great legal writing is about more than mechanics. But careful attention to legal writing mechanics is nevertheless critical for effective, clear, and persuasive writing. Proper grammar, usage, and correct punctuation makes analysis clearer and therefore more effective. It also shows the reader that the writer has paid close attention to detail, which makes the reader more likely to find the writer credible. Relatedly, communicating in plain language is critical to making sure that “readers can easily find what they need, understand what they find, and use that information.” And proper citation—or even better, stylish citation—helps the reader easily understand what kind of persuasive value the cited authority has, how the cited authority supports the proposition, and where to find the cited authority, all without requiring the reader to read the authority themselves.
Because legal writing mechanics are so essential to effective communication for all legal writers, this bibliography aims to collect resources that explore various types of legal writing mechanics, identify best practices with respect to each of these fundamental aspects of legal writing, and advance our understanding of how legal writing mechanics contribute to overall communication.
Hannon, Margaret C. "Legal Writing Mechanics: A Bibliography." Legal Comm. & Rhetoric: JALWD 19 (2022): 185.