Pro Attorney: Tips To Consider And Pitfalls To Avoid
Attorneys, Don’t Bury The Lede
“Lede” is an alternate spelling for lead that is only used in this context. Attorneys tend to forget the importance of starting with the strongest point. A lead should be strong enough to attract interest of readers and ensure they read on to the end. Whether it is an article, letter, or legal brief, the beginning should be enticing. Of course, there are jurisdictions with specific formats, presentation styles, and orders. Still, all forms of writing should consider starting with the strongest point. Never bury the lede.
Avoid Telling The Story Chronologically
Facts are important in presentation of information, especially in the legal field. Any claims should be backed up by verified information; otherwise, it is not worth mentioning it in a case or including it in a written legal piece. Typically, writers present information in order of occurrence. Of course, it is easy to follow a case when presented in chronological manner. However, it is difficult for a reader to get to critical facts about a case. Readers have to keenly read every sentence to understand the tale; it is easy for a reader to get bored and miss the crucial part of a case. An appropriate lede hints on a writer’s conclusion on the case at hand.
A strong lede creates a favorable environment for a lawyer to explain a legal conclusion and perspectives on a case. The lede does not have to be the first event, the purpose is to draw attention and convey tone to the readers. A lawyer recounts all facts but in unchronological manner. Remember, the aim is to establish all about the case before stating other facts.
There is a lot to borrow from law school with respect to presentation and handling of legal cases. IRAC denotes Issue, Rule, Application, and Conclusion. While you have the freedom to choose an interesting and captivating element in a case to customize your lede, it is vital to follow the IRAC order. It is the same thing because a strong lede will always revolve around the main issue in a case. Although not every article requires legal interpretation, IRAC is still applicable in any report writing and analysis.
Introductions are boring; they push a lede to the second paragraph. This is not attractive to a reader; there is nothing enticing for an introductory paragraph unless you want to be repetitive with your issue in the IRAC, which is worse. In legal writing, repetition is not interpreted as emphasis but as lack of substantial arguments. Always read your article without the first paragraph and establish whether it has an effect in enticing a reader or not; you can do it several times to remove redundancy. Imagine reading an article on what it is not about; this can be a technique in other fields but not in legal writing. Avoid introductions!