Legal Advocacy Workshops
Training Lawyers to Speak Human

Our Book


The Lawyer’s Essential Guide to Writing
is an entertaining, concrete guide to contemporary legal writing. Based on the lessons my students have taught me during many years of coaching lawyers, the book provides a systematic approach to all forms of written communication, from memoranda and briefs to e-mail, blogs, and newsletters. It has been one of the ABA's top titles since it was released.

The book goes beyond the well-worn admonition to “use plain English.” Instead, it focuses on the structure and substance of powerful writing. The book is written in an easy-to-use, read-as-you-write framework and it shows how to apply the three essential rules for effective writing to cultivate a clean, modern style. And because the principles discussed in the book apply all types of writing, it’s not just for litigators. (Ilissa Povich contributed a chapter on Tips for Transactional Attorneys.)

The book also includes a Usage, Grammar and Punctuation Guide that addresses the burning questions that worry all writers, but that lawyers are often too embarrassed to ask out loud. Is it OK to use an em dash? What is an em dash anyway? How do I make a plural possessive? “Affect” or “effect?” Does the period go inside or outside the quotation? And what about the serial comma?

Here’s what people are saying about the book:

Go Buy this Book . . . it’s an extremely valuable book. This book will make you a stronger writer. It’s a fair price for a book that can help you win cases and get clients.” –TheLawyerist.com (Jan. 20, 2012) (Click Review in The Lawyerist.to read the review.) 

“Marie Buckley’s book is not only practical, but also lively and often delightful. I enthusiastically recommend it to any lawyer — and not just those who are starting out — who is interested in communicating clearly and persuasively.” – The Honorable Dennis P. Saylor, United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts

“Marie Buckley . . . has authored a new book . . . to guide lawyers through all forms of legal communication.” -Lawyers Weekly USA. (Click Lawyers USA Review to read the review. Login required.)

“Imagine learning cooking one-on-one from Julia Child or attending spring training side-by-side with Dustin Pedroia. This book guides you through the workroom of a master craftsman in the art of legal writing. Learn the tricks and techniques that turn a workmanlike brief into a persuasive tour-de-force. Compelling as a text and handy as a reference guide, this book is a ‘must have’ for all law firm associates.”—Marie Lefton, Esq., Principal, Hoffman Alvary & Co. LLC, law firm management consultants

“Marie Buckley understands that legal writing is really about the reader. She has crafted a textbook that shows lawyers how to stop sounding like lawyers.”—Tony Feeherry, Chair of General Litigation Group, Goodwin Procter LLP

“It’s rare for a manual on writing—especially legal writing—to be so entertaining and enlightening that you don’t want to put it down. Yet that’s how I felt reading Marie Buckley’s new book. Her principles for better writing are straightforward and easily applied and are delivered with an ideal combination of precision and good humor. I would be thrilled to see this book on the shelf of every associate in my law firm.”— Michael Tuteur, Litigation Department Chair, Foley & Lardner LLP

Marie Buckley provides lawyers an eloquent instruction manual for clear and persuasive writing. Notably, she covers not just the workaday wordsmithery of briefs and memoranda, but also gives guidance for writing letters, emails and blogs. Throughout, her emphasis is on clarity and simplicity. This is a book not just for newer associates but for any lawyer who wants to be a better writer. – Robert Ambrogi, Influential Blogger and Consultant. (Click lawsites review to read Robert Ambrogi’s review.)

Stay tuned for the movie?