Thursday, October 6, 2011
Steve Jobs' death marks the end of an era at Apple. Using technology, he undoubtedly changed the world and changed the way many of us practice and teach law. But perhaps he taught us lessons that apply directly to legal writing as well. To Steve Jobs, the package that an idea came in mattered. Several companies tried a brilliant idea, the portable digital music player, before Apple came to dominate the market with a beautiful product, the iPod. Taking the polished-product approach to legal writing can make the difference between an audience accepting a brilliant idea or rejecting it. Ideas obscured by poor writing are not as effective as they might be properly packaged. Jobs also recognized that simplicity mattered. Complex products that are complex to use cannot change society. Likewise, complex ideas expressed through unduly complex writing are unlikely to persuade a judge. R.I.P. Steve Jobs.