Some Guidelines to an effective Legal Drafting for Young Lawyers & Law Students

Guidelines to effective “Legal Drafting”

When drafting a Suit or Brief, it’s crucial that you write in a simple and composed writing style. This ensures that your reader easily grasp the core issues, whether it be a legal specialist, Judge or a layman. A good brief increases the chance of getting the desired relief. I am writing few points below to help you write an effective brief.

Structure: A very basic principle of drafting is to write the content in chronological manner. This way, it goes easy to explain the background of the case or your narrative. Avoid lengthy paragraphs, it is better to write short and sweet. Remember, you’re crafting a brief, not a book.

References: Define the terms briefly for a later reference. For instance, if you’re using the term “Parents”, you’ve to define it clearly in your draft as “Father” and “Mother” (referred to as “Parents”). Also, minimize the use of abbreviations like “SC” or “HC” unless properly defined in a context.

Language: Avoid using fancy words or phrases. This can make things complicated for you to explain or justify. Remember, your goal is to simplify the explanation, not complicate it. Clarity is very important in legal drafting.

Facts: You should stick to the facts of the case. Young practitioners often make this mistake of dragging the narrative with unnecessary details or facts based on assumptions. Keep your storyline concise within the available facts.

Punctuations: Avoid the unnecessary use of punctuations. A coma (,) can change the meaning of your sentence, use it wisely. Use the italic font when you reproduce parts of any text in your brief. Only use the “bold” and “underline” when it is crucial to lay emphasis. If you paid attention, i used unnecessary quotation marks in the preceding sentence. See, now you know it. :p

Above guidelines will ensure a clear, concise, and effective legal draft. Finally, proofread your draft carefully to catch any lingering errors.


Areeb A. Soomro

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