Clearer Legal Writing

Clearer Legal Writing: the “ifs”, “musts” and “mays”

This is an English legal writing programme focused on a difficult area dubbed “modality”. The goal is to improve the lawyer’s ability to write more correctly, conventionally, clearly and concisely in English about obligations, entitlements, conditions and hypotheticals, including conventional modal verbs, “if” wording, “if” sentence patterns, “shall” and “should”, the subjunctive and the verb patterns in which the subjunctive is used to give advice and describe obligations. Explaining clearly to clients (and others) what may and must be done is key to clear legal writing.

“The importance of clarity in legal writing should be obvious: Your legal memorandum will not enlighten, nor will your brief persuade, unless the reader of each can understand it.”— Charles R. Calleros