legal writing: an overview
In many legal settings specialized forms of written communication are required. In many others, writing is the medium in which a lawyer must express their analysis of an issue and seek to persuade others on their clients' behalf. Any legal document must be concise, clear, and conform to the objective standards that have evolved in the legal profession.
There are generally two types of legal writing. The first type requires a balanced analysis of a legal problem or issue. Examples of the first type are inter-office memoranda and letters to clients. To be effective in this form of writing, the lawyer must be sensitive to the needs, level of interest and background of the parties to whom it is addressed. A memorandum to a partner in the same firm that details definitions of basic legal concepts would be inefficient and an annoyance. In contrast, their absence from a letter to a client with no legal background could serve to confuse and complicate a simple situation.