Writing Resource Center

Legal Writing Resources: Style & Formatting Guides

Style Guides

Strunk & White's Elements of Style has been a seminal reference tool for general matters of style for nearly a century. Now available online, it has a section on words and common phrases that are often misused or misspelled.

The Legal Writing Teaching Assistant: The Law Student's Guide to Good Writing is an interactive guide to the rules of writing, aimed at law students, covering grammar, punctuation, and issues of style. The exercises require the user to download a browser plug-in.

"Eschew, Evade and/or Eradicate Legalese" includes UCLA Law Professor Eugene Volokh's often-referenced list of plain English replacements for "common clunkers."

Formatting Guides

The Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals’ Practitioner's Handbook for Appeals includes requirements for briefs filed in the Seventh Circuit. Useful chapters include:

Formatting rules for Illinois state court briefs are found in Supreme Court Rule 341.

Washburn Law School’s YouTube channel includes helpful video tutorials on creating Tables of Contents and Tables of Authorities. Although the video addresses Word 2010, the tips can be used with later versions.

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