December 05, 2011 Articles

A Young Lawyer's View on the Importance of Persuasive Writing

As an attorney, you must be as confident in your writing as you are in your ability to stand in front of a jury and present your case

By Bryan M. Pritikin

I worked as a criminal legal intern for what felt like 400 years before, during, and after law school. During my internship, I saw hundreds of motions written by defense attorneys and pro se defendants. I have seen very well-reasoned and well-thought-out motions, and I have seen words put on paper in seemingly random order. Whether those poorly written submissions are the result of laziness, discontent, apathy, or indifference, I do not know. What I do know for sure—based on my experience as an intern and now as a criminal defense attorney—is that every lawyer, whether a trial attorney or not, speaks and writes for a living. Although they are vastly different skill sets, both reflect upon the lawyer in the same manner. Both are critically important to success, and both deserve the same amount of dedication toward development and improvement.

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