Typography for Lawyers, written by Matthew Butterick, should be considered required reading for any lawyer that cares about his or her documents. And that means any lawyer that cares about his or her practice, because for all our pontificating that the practice of law is about something other than documents, our primary method of communication remains the realm of documents, whether we are litigators or transaction oriented lawyers.
What Butterick has to say is important to lawyers, but how he says it is even more important. This book is that once in a million "how to" that reveals much more "how to" than you might initially think.
The topic of the book is the importance of typography to the written word, more precisely the effect on the reader, and it includes rules to follow and practical advice, with examples. As Butterick writes in his Introduction to the book, lawyers are "part of the biggest, most important publishing industry in the United States." And, every document lawyers produce is "important to someone -- our clients."
But any wise veteran of legal warfare will quickly realize that Butterick's book teaches us much more. His writing style is wonderfully direct and concise, so while Butterick is telling us why we should care about typography and what typography we should consider, he's educating us on how to write, how to write effective legal documents, how to write persuasive motions, pleadings or briefs, and how to engage our readers, whether they be judges, other lawyers, or clients.
Typography for Lawyers is only $30. Do yourself and your dependents a favor; buy this book and read it.
You can find links to purchase the book on Butterick's web site, www.typographyforlawyers.com.
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