TERESA M. BRUCE
Welcome to Objectivity & Argumentation! You’re here either because you’re a law student in one of my classes or you have some other interest in legal writing. Regardless, I hope you find this website useful. It has two primary goals: to teach you about objective legal writing, that is, writing memoranda, and to teach you about persuasive legal writing, that is, writing briefs. Before we go on, though, let’s define those terms.
Memoranda are internal documents written by attorneys and shared with their clients and colleagues. They’re private and candid. They analyze a legal problem from a neutral standpoint predicting how an objective person (a judge or a juror) would resolve it. They discuss the strengths and the weaknesses of the client’s case. Briefs are public documents, filed with courts, and shared with the adversary in a lawsuit. They’re partisan; they take a side. They argue that a dispute should be resolved in the client’s favor. And they ignore weaknesses unless there’s some strategic reason to discuss them.
Whether you’re one of my students or not, I’ve created this website to help you reach your full potential as a legal writer. So let’s take a journey together. Let’s explore the qualities, characteristics, and techniques that make for effective legal writing. Click here to get started with The Complete Guide to Writing a Legal Memorandum, our main guidebook. Then, take a look at Crash Course in Legal Research, Mastering the Bluebook, How to Write a Winning Brief, Oral Argument Step-by-Step, or some other Topic.