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What is the optimal amount of advocacy?

My law students and I face that question all the time. We face it when we’re drafting motions. We face it when we’re proposing changes to contracts. We even face it when putting together key emails, text messages, and social-media posts.

In all these situations and many more, we don’t want to oversell our arguments and ideas — but we don’t want to undersell them either. Instead, we hope to hit that perfect sweet spot known as “persuasion.”

We don’t always succeed, but one thing that has significantly increased our effectiveness is the amount of time we spend on an important skill: editing.


Reproduced with permission.