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Use StyleWriter to edit and correct LEGAL WORDS

StyleWriter will help you edit legal words and signpost language from your writing.

Legal words confuse most of us. Legal language contains old-fashioned words and phrases that are not used in everyday writing and conversation. You should avoid legal words at all times. They have no place in good, readable writing. Even in legal documents, it is possible to avoid them and write in plain English that everyone can understand.

Examples of legal words and phrases:

forthwith hereat herewith thereof
henceforth hereof thereat whereon
in said agreement undertake and agree
or any part thereof void or voidable

Signpost language, common in legal writing, is also a bad writing habit.  Readers have to refer to other parts of the text before the message becomes clear. 

Examples are: above-mentioned     aforementioned     aforesaid the above     the former     the latter     the said

You can always avoid signpost language by substituting the specific information needed or a simple word such as "the", "this" or "our".

For example:

Poor: The above-mentioned parties agree to...

Improved: Mr. James and Ms. Smith agree to...

Poor: The said contract must allow...

Improved: The contract must allow...

Legal writing is typically full of mammoth sentences, archaic language and standard phrases making it difficult to understand. Legal writing isn't read just by lawyers but by the general public. Too many people have to read consumer agreements, loan applications and insurance policies that are unintelligible. Legal writing like this not only causes problems of understanding but gives an organisation a poor reputation in the way it treats its customers.

If you write legal documents of any kind, you should try to write in plain English. When you select Legal Writing as your writing task, StyleWriter adjusts its statistical measures to take account of the difficulties of writing a readable legal document.

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