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This book is now Out of Print.
A new edition has been published, the details can be seen here:
Effective Legal Writing: A Practical Guide 3rd ed isbn 9780409351484

Effective Legal Writing: A Practical Guide 2nd ed

ISBN13: 9780409343205
New Edition ISBN: 9780409351484
Previous Edition ISBN: 9780409334029
Published: October 2016
Publisher: LexisNexis Australia
Country of Publication: Australia
Format: Paperback
Price: Out of print

This practical, student-focused text introduces writing skills essential for successful study in law and explains how to apply them in a legal context. It is designed as a course book for first year law students with ongoing relevance as a resource in subsequent years at law school and beyond. Basic literacy, legal literacy and writing skills are explored in a way that is fully integrated into legal content, reflecting current pedagogical best-practice.

The text assists students to develop sound legal writing skills, providing a solid foundation to enhance performance in professional legal writing tasks. It includes many examples, case-studies and exercises and is supported by extensive online resources for lecturers.

The second edition of this text offers expanded examples and explanations of the types of legal writing required of both students and professionals.


  • Basic literacy, legal literacy and writing skills are explored in a way that is fully integrated into legal content
  • Contains many examples, case-studies, opportunities for revision, questions and exercises
  • Revised and extended to include many new examples
  • Contributes the achievement of the attributes identified by the Australian Teaching and Learning Council (ALTC) threshold learning outcomes (TLO) for law, in particular TLO 5: Communication and collaboration
  • Extensive suite of lecturer and student online ancillary resources

Drafting and Legal Writing
1. Introduction — The importance of good writing skills and their professional application
2. Grammar Matters: English Grammar and the Law — The relevance of grammar to the law with an emphasis on difficult areas
3. The Plain English Movement and the Law — The development, principles and application of plain English writing
4. Ethical Considerations and Referencing Conventions — Academic integrity, especially plagiarism, and accurate legal citation
5. Academic Legal Writing — How to approach, prepare and draft essays and answers to problem scenarios
6. Profession-orientated Writing — Communications with clients, other parties and document drafting
7. Planning, Editing and Reflecting — Document and time organisation, editing