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The Elements of Legal Style Hardcover – 14 Nov 1991

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 253 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press Inc, USA (14 Nov 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0195058607
  • ISBN-13: 978-0195058604
  • Product Dimensions: 14.6 x 2.5 x 21.7 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,971,892 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


This examination of legal style describes effective argumentation in law as well as the points of style that allow a writer's message to reach the reader with a maximum of efficiency and clarity. Its focus is on the argumentative, narrative and descriptive style found in legal briefs and judicial opinions, rather than the more technical drafting or legal composition style characteristic of wills and statutes.

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Amazon.com: 5 reviews
40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
The best single investment in legal writing. 19 May 2000
By David Chaumette - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book in 1994 or so, and try to read it every year as a refresher course. You can read the entire book (skimming the examples) in a long weekend. Doing that will immessurably improve the coherence and power of your writing. This book has helped me. The examples are clear and relevant and relatively easy to use in your own writing.
Garner has a real gift and this early book was just the first sign of his abilities. Enjoy!
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Every lawyer and judge should have a copy. 10 April 2000
By Richard L. King - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Perhaps because Garner's major work, "A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage," has received so much attention, this little book is often overlooked. This is unfortunate because "The Elements of Legal Style" is an outstanding resource and it is probably more accessible and more useful to the working lawyer than "A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage." As Professor Wright indicates in his incisive Forward, "anyone, no matter how good a writer, will find much that is useful in the book." This book should be in the library of every lawyer and judge. Highly recommended.
25 of 28 people found the following review helpful
Not up to Prof. Garner's high standard. 21 Aug 2001
By Zeldock - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
As a great admirer of Prof. Garner's other works, I was very disappointed by this volume. It provides little advice that cannot be found, in equally brief form, in any number of "general" writing guides already on the market. I believe lawyers and law students would be better served by buying, first, Garner's *Modern Legal Usage* (a true masterpiece) and reading the essays on general stylistic topics in that excellent volume. If one has additional money and time, Garner's "Winning Brief" would be a wise second purchase. [Note: This review, originally written several years ago, was of the first edition of Prof. Garner's *Elements.* The second edition appears to be much improved over the first.]
14 of 17 people found the following review helpful
New Paralegal 17 Dec 2001
By "marinestudla" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This reference guide is a good review of English mechanics in general. It has a certain snobbish overtone, sometimes. I recommend it, however.
18 of 25 people found the following review helpful
The legal writer's Bible. 29 April 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is the single best resource for legal writers. Period. I had the opportunity to take Mr. Garner's course in law school, and it helped me immensely. As Managing Editor of the SMU Law Review, this book was mandatory reading for all staff members and editors.
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