Matthew Butterick just released the second edition of Butterick's Practical Typography. It's a great, reader-supported resource for anyone who just needs to know how to make text look professional. Butterick himself is an interesting guy—a lawyer, programmer, and typographer. I learned of the release from his newsletter, which I suggest subscribing to (he only posts … Continue reading Second Edition of Butterick’s Practical Typography Released
The practice of "morning pages" has been hovering in the periphery of my Internet reading lately. It's the exercise of handwriting three pages stream-of-consciousness, first thing in the morning. My initial thoughts were similar to those expressed in this Guardian column. Morning pages—sounds like something my high school English teacher would do, who also made up … Continue reading Try Morning Pages (or Freewriting)
After publicly wondering why there aren't any podcasts devoted to legal writing, I've decided to take steps toward starting one. Here's what I'm thinking. First, I can't get mired in setup and equipment. Partly because of the expense (every dollar counts right now); but mostly because I've been down that road before and I know … Continue reading A Podcast About Attorney Authors and Publishers
It seems there's a bevy of law-related podcasts available now. Bob Ambrogi recently rounded up a bunch, and others I've discovered serendipitously through Twitter. Curiously, though, I have yet to see a podcast devoted just to legal writing or publishing. I made this observation on Twitter to see if perhaps I missed something, and that … Continue reading Recent Podcasts and Resources on Legal Writing
People need help with more and more legal problems. Working people make too much money to qualify for legal aid, but too little for a private lawyer. There’s nowhere for them to go for help and reliable information, even for routine matters. I’m not writing about now. I’m writing about 1971, when two legal aid … Continue reading Access to Justice: An Old Approach
A little while ago Bryan Garner mourned the lost art of reviewing books in his ABA Journal column. Book reviews have all but disappeared from bar journals and law reviews, regrettably. That column stuck with me. It's true that book reviews are all but extinct in our profession. But that seems odd to me for … Continue reading The New Art of Reviewing Books
More lawyers should self-publish. Also, fewer lawyers should self-publish. Let me explain. We lawyers become experts in our areas of practice and learn a mountain of useful information over our careers. It's natural to share that information with a wider audience by writing a book. It's natural, but it isn't easy. Especially for busy professionals. … Continue reading More Lawyers Should Self-Publish—Mostly
A recent study is making waves. The shocking conclusion: two spaces after a sentence are better than one. Two spaces versus one—a perennial debate, like the Oxford comma and how to pronounce GIF. Many of us, myself included, were taught to space double after each sentence. It’s how we learned to type. It's how we … Continue reading Are Two Spaces Better Than One?
Bob Ambrogi, now publisher and editor-in-chief at LexBlog, recently announced that LexBlog will allow any law blogger into its content network for free, whether the blog is hosted by LexBlog or not. LexBlog makes money by licensing its software. But to become a global news and commentary network, it has to open its doors. Too … Continue reading LexBlog Welcomes All Bloggers
Yesterday the Wife and I made the 45-minute drive to the nearest Half Price Books. (We're the kind of people who think Chick-fil-A-and-a-bookstore makes the perfect date.) I always check the reference and writing books section, and there I found A Dictionary of Modern English Usage by H. W. Fowler. It was the second edition … Continue reading Fowler’s Modern English Usage, 2d Ed.