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Distill and Translate Complex Legal Materials Into Something Like Accessible Prose

“I try to distill and translate complex legal materials into something like accessible prose, often on a very tight deadline.“

This, from veteran New York Times Supreme Court Reporter, Adam Liptak, describing his beat in an interview with the Times’ Katie Van Syckle.

Turn complex legal materials into accessible prose.

Legal bloggers would be well served by following Liptak’s approach to legal journalism.

Too many legal blogs read like a brief or memorandum to the court. Numerous citations, footnotes and more. All learned in a legal writing class as a 1L.

The purpose of such writing to communicate with the court, rather than with ordinary people.

Merriam-Webster defines prose as “the ordinary language people use in speaking or writing.”

The ordinary language of the people.

Great legal bloggers use this language. They write in the ordinary language of the people.

And like Liptak, they turn complex legal materials into the ordinary language of the people.

Whether their audience be consumers, small business people, in-house counsel or other lawyers, it’s all the same.

Ordinary language of the people.