American Bar Association

In the world of advocacy, the ability to write a compelling brief is critical to a litigant’s success. A concise and persuasive brief makes a lasting first impression on the court, which can be advantageous throughout the course of the case. It has also become increasingly common for courts to decide cases without oral arguments, so the brief is often the be-all and end-all. Below are a few tips to make sure the first impression, and maybe only impression, is a great one.

Authors: Cheryl L. Blount

Use Your Resources

Reviewing briefs with similar legal or factual issues is a great way to get ideas on how to frame the issues and where to target further legal research. Ask your partners and peers to review similar briefs they have written in the past, spanning both the specific type of brief you are writing and briefs honing in on the same or similar issues. While reviewing the briefs, pull from the legal standards as a starting point, take note of any procedural nuisances, and mimic the crafting of arguments that will work to your advantage.

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