After practicing for almost thirty years, I have read a lot of briefs and seen many different writing styles. It still amazes me, however, that many lawyers ignore a fundamental tenet of persuasive writing- telling the reader their position in the opening paragraph. Instead, the rationale is not revealed until several pages into the pleading.  Choose your words wisely. Drop the archaic language (e.g., COMES NOW) and get to the point.  Your reader will thank you.


Lawyers like to have many clients. However, dealing with so many different problems, lawyers sometimes fail to realize the impact that an issue has on a particular client. 

It is like going to the doctor and awaiting test results. You want your doctor to be as concerned about receiving your results as you are. If it is a Friday afternoon, you want your doctor to call you and let you know that s/he is on top of the issue even if there is nothing new to report before you head into the weekend.

It is the same with the law. Clients want to know that you are on top of their issue even when there is new nothing to report. Providing periodic updates will assure clients that you have not forgotten about their issue and will help to ease their anxiety.  And while it is up to you, you might want to provide these non-material updates on a non-billable basis. The goal is to maintain a long-term relationship, not to nickel and dime clients. So, remember that sometimes “no news” is still worthy of an update. Your clients will thank you.


I was the first person in my family to become a lawyer so everything was new to me. While law school taught me how to write a brief, it failed to prepare me for law firm life. 

In the past 25 years, I’ve made a lot of mistakes.  However, as a result of these mistakes, I’ve developed a laundry list of lessons, which I will share in the upcoming weeks. Hopefully, they will help you as you navigate your law career.  There are a lot of great lawyers out there competing for work. There are few trusted advisors.