Legally Speaking: Why Grammar Matters
Grammar matters, especially in the legal world. Lawyers’ writing including court documents, briefs, and more do require a huge amount of precision. If you are vague or unsure when you speak, you can almost expect embarrassing litigation to happen. And in this field, where something that may seem as trivial as wrong spelling or grammar can make or break you, it is crucial that your documents are always precise.
Just imagine how your reputation could get affected by skeptical clients who can quickly make their own judgment based on your documents. If yours are peppered with typos and grammatical errors, your prospective client might think twice about getting your legal services.
Saying sorry won’t cut it either when there is an angry prisoner who’s feeling of rage is increasing when his statute of limitations for appeal got negative attention simply because you can’t clearly state the difference between calendar days and working days.
LEGAL WRITING CARES ABOUT GRAMMAR
Many times, law students don’t give much attention to Legal Writing because it has fewer credits compared to other first-year courses. Any law graduate will tell you that this is not a smart thing to do.
Aside from teaching legal reasoning, instructors of Legal Writing care about grammar. That does not mean that they will stomp all over your own creativity, although it will be like you are learning a new and different kind of writing. As you learn “legal reasoning”, however, you should not overlook the fact that grammar is a very critical component of legal writing.
While correct grammar is critical no matter what industry you are in, it is especially so if you are in working in the “legal world”.
Lawyers have always been considered wordsmiths. So much of the work done by attorneys depends on the written word. That is why, of all people, those working in a law firm, whether he or she is an attorney or a part of the legal support team, must be extremely careful with how we use words. We must always think of the impression we would make when we use words. It doesn’t matter if it is simply writing a reminder to a partner, a brief to the court, or emailing a client, the words we use to express our thoughts always matter.
It doesn’t mean that we are never allowed to make grammatical mistakes. We do make them sometimes. What is important, though, is that we make a conscious effort in improving our Grammar. Practice! That is the only way to get better.