As lawyers, we know that writing is central to our work. Whether it’s a sixty-page brief for the United States Supreme Court, or a two-line confirmation of a client meeting tapped out in an airport terminal, our jobs require a steady flow of clear, professional written communications.
I’m not here to tell you that typography is at the core of a lawyer’s work. It’s not. But typography can optimize that work. All writing necessarily involves typography. And good writing is part of good lawyering. So good typography is too. If you ignore typography, you are ignoring an opportunity to improve both your writing and your advocacy.
This book is based on three core principles.
- Good typography is part of good lawyering.
- Typography in legal documents should be held to the same standards as any professionally published material. Why? Because legal documents are professionally published material.
- Any lawyer can master the essentials of good typography.
Legal documents lie along a continuum from more typographically flexible (e.g., letterhead, research memos) to less flexible (e.g., motions). Not every recommendation in this website will suit every document. Use your judgment.
I sometimes illustrate typographic ideas with examples from California litigation because I’m familiar with it. But my recommendations are meant to be adaptable to any type of practice in any jurisdiction.
That said, this website is not legal advice. If what I suggest conflicts with laws or court rules in your jurisdiction, ignore me and obey the law — obviously.