November 28, 2018 Articles

Tools and Tips for Brief Writing in the Technological Age

There are two aspects of brief writing where technology can be particularly helpful.

By Katherine Rosoff and Gabriel K. Gillett

Technology has become a staple of everyday life. Computers and automation have replaced humans at least in some capacity in many fields and have entirely replaced humans in others. As the U.S. Supreme Court has noted, there are now millions of apps at the ready to assist in just about every aspect of human life. See Riley v. California, 134 S. Ct. 2473, 2490 (2014).

Disruptive technology has slowly been making its way into the legal world. In recent years, much attention has been paid to the development of technologies to assist (or overtake) document review, legal research, and other tasks that are relatively low skill but time intensive. Lawyers are also beginning to utilize artificial intelligence, machine learning technologies, and analytics to ply their trade.

These developments are relevant for appellate lawyers too. Machines and algorithms have not taking over brief writing, one of the core functions of appellate lawyering—at least, not yet. But there are opportunities for appellate lawyers to apply technology in service of that task. Specifically, there are two aspects of brief writing where technology can be particularly helpful.

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