Thursday, January 20, 2011

Lawyer's Oath in Plain English

In the Michigan Bar Journal, Plain English guru Professor Joe Kimble (Cooley Law School) has urged the Michigan Bar to champion a revised version of the state’s oath for lawyers being admitted to the bar.  When George Hathaway proposed the revised version over a decade ago, he noted the failings of the current oath:

 Some might regard the current oath as

quaint—and right for a ceremonial occasion. But I suspect that

many or most new lawyers find it unclear in places and rather

odd—the verbal equivalent of wearing spats or a coat with tails.

Why start lawyers off like this? The plain-English version is solemn,

dignified, and equally right for a ceremonial occasion.

 To see the competing versions, please click here. With these versions, you can provide your students with a nice illustration of how to revise into plain English


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