Tuesday, May 14, 2013

How to Perpetuate Bad Writing in Law Reviews

At the annual Scribes Dinner at the National Conference of Law Reviews, plain English guru Professor Joe Kimble offered the law review students some tongue-in-cheek advice on how to perpetuate bad law review writing. (Now published in the Michigan Bar Journal) His words reminded me of the well-known quote from Fred Rodell:

There are two things wrong with almost all legal writing. One is its style. The other is its content. That, I think, about covers the ground. And though it is in the law reviews that the most highly regarded legal literature--and I by no means except those fancy rationalizations of legal action called judicial opinions--is regularly embalmed, it is in the law reviews that a pennyworth of content is most frequently concealed beneath a pound of so-called style.

I hope Joe made some impression on his audience. I can attest to the difficulty of trying to modernize the dowdy world of law reviews.



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