The importance of good grammar, particularly for legal practitioners, cannot be emphasized enough. Good grammar is the foundation of good writing, and good writing is essential to both high achievement in law school and success in legal practice. With that in mind (and in celebration of National Grammar Day today) we have provided a few resources below which you can use to increase your grammatical mastery. Since words are the tools of the legal profession, time spent brushing up on your grammar is never wasted.
- Professor Tamara Herrera’s “Legal Writing” column in the monthly Maricopa Lawyer
Every month Professor Herrera provides insightful and useful writing advice in her “Legal Writing” column for the Maricopa Lawyer. Recent topics include the correct use of commonly misused words such as “but” and “they,” fixing little ambiguities in your writing, and properly using pronouns. You can read Professor Herrera’s articles on the website of the Maricopa County Bar Association.
- Bryan Garner’s Usage Tip of the Day
Bryan Garner, the editor in chief of Black’s Law Dictionary and the author of many leading books on English usage and legal style, including Garner’s Modern American Usage, is known as an authority on good legal writing. Garner authors the Usage Tip of the Day on the LawProse blog, through which he provides daily insight on the correct use of words and other grammatical topics. You can receive these tips in your e-mail by subscribing to the blog or by signing up through the Oxford University Press website.
- Worst Grammar and Spelling Fails from CNN
This photographic look at bad grammar is good for a laugh, and highlights the importance of using words and punctuation correctly.
We hope those of you writing seminar and graduation papers this semester find these resources valuable, as well as those producing legal memoranda, court documents, and other written work through externships and other job opportunities.