Seven Ways to Write Like Justice Kagan

In Justice Kagan’s debut opinion, she imagined a debtor buying an old junkyard car “for a song.” Now, a decade later, writing better than ever, she’s penned an opinion about a Ford Explorer. Leave it to Kagan to adorn this specific-jurisdiction matter with rhythm and punch, intellectual tension, and even a touch of pathos. Looking to…

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Machine Learning and Legal Tech: Three Cheers for Humans

I shared two data-mined facts about briefs the other day. If you’re skittish about whether artificial intelligence threatens the lawyers of tomorrow, the reaction I got should reassure you. Here were the facts I shared: The term “Id.” appears half as often in the briefs of elite lawyers (according to published rankings) as it does…

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Hyphenate or Bust? A Truce on Phrasal Adjectives

In the legal world, debates about hyphenating “summary judgment standard” or “publicly traded company” are as cordial and restrained as arguments over proper fonts, Oxford commas, and spacing after periods. Let me try to keep the peace with just these three points: When two or more words form a unit that comes before the noun…

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