March 01, 2012

In Praise of Plain Language

Jan Matthew Tamanini
  • Impress with your attentiveness, not your vocabulary.
  • Learn about reflexive listening.

“The power of clear statement is the greatest power at the bar.”

That statement by William H. Moody, US attorney general under President Theodore Roosevelt, is as true today as it was in his time. One of the reasons we lawyers get a bad rap from those who have not experienced the joys of a legal education is the tendency many of us have to write—and speak—to others as if English were our second language, or as if we were born more than a century ago.

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