Kickstart Internal Initiatives with ChatGPT

With the ever-changing legal landscape before us, law firms face an unprecedented demand for innovation and efficiency. But how can you get the internal buy-in necessary for these programs? ChatGPT can help get you started! Check out this short exercise from Ross Guberman and try it out for yourself.  Distilling Provocative Content Into an Action […]


Your seventh-grade English teacher told you never to split an infinitive: no adverb between “to” and a verb. Never mind that the Starship Enterprise sought to boldly go where no man had gone before: You, an ordinary kid, had to obey the laws of grammar and physics alike. No one ever explained that the split-infinitive ban […]

Stop Cutting “That”

When I ask my audiences which words or phrases they like to cut from their drafts, someone often mentions the word “that.” Not so fast, I suggest. I plucked the example below from the first pages of an Illinois Court of Appeals opinion on Buffalo Wild Wings and on trailing modifiers in restrictive covenants (don’t ask). In this […]

Avoid These Clichés Like the Plague

While a well-placed allusion can enliven your prose, the use of trite, uninspired clichés will detract from your message and distract your reader. Here are five clichés you should avoid like the plague. 1. An Apple a Day Example: “The State prosecuted the astronaut on a more serious charge because it wanted a second bite at […]

Writing Rules for Fun and Profit: The Agony and the Ecstasy

Ever since I created an editing app, my usual workshop feats, like engaging bleary-eyed associates and racing to the last flight to O’Hare, seem like child’s play. I still relish the challenge, but if I give you a peek behind the glossy interface, you’ll see what I mean. Say you want to cut the adverb […]

The Three Biggest Mistakes I See—And How to Fix Them

It’s a new school year, and the economy’s on the uptick! With change in the air, let’s try to solve three of the most common legal-writing mistakes. Mistake 1: The opening of the document is topical or circular, not substantive. What goes wrong. Although nearly all legal documents start with a “roadmap,” many roadmaps are simply […]

Avoid the Most Commonly Committed Comma Crimes: Eight Commandments

From the loftiest law firms to the grandest judicial chambers, I see the same comma errors time and time again. In the name of consistency, and perhaps even sanity, consider committing to these Eight Comma Commandments. 1. Thou Shalt Include a Comma Before a Conjunction That Introduces an Independent Clause Rule: Put a comma before […]

What Partners Hate: Eight Grammar Gripes—And How to Avoid Them

Although law-firm partners have too many grammar-specific issues to detail them all in one article, here are eight of the most common issues below: 1. Misuse of Mid-Sentence Commas Tip: If you have and or but in the middle of a long sentence, check what follows. If it’s a person or thing, put a comma […]

Adverbs on Trial: Guilty, Innocent, or It Depends?

Several years ago, a Wall Street Journal legal columnist put adverbs on trial. Witnesses for the prosecution: Stephen King (“The adverb is not your friend,” says he), a host of anti-adverb judges, and legions of legal writing teachers. Witnesses for the defense: Famed adverb fan Justice Scalia, an academic “legal anthropologist,” and the author of the article, […]