Today’s Friday Legal Writing Question is:
Do your appellate brief first-drafts run longer than the page limit? My first drafts are rarely longer than the page limit. Does this mean I am a master at stating my arguments with precision? Not necessarily, but digging into how I organize my research and writing could provide an answer. I tend to research a lot before writing a word, and then, as I find my key arguments, pull quotes and cases into my draft to work around. This works for me, but I would like to experiment some with writing more free form in my first draft and cutting back instead of building brick-by-brick.
Do you write unencumbered in your first draft, or is every line a struggle? Do you like to put every thought on the page and cut, or do you build arguments like a brick wall? When editing, do you slash with abandon or agonize over each cut? Do you play with fonts and margins? If your briefs are short, do you think you make your point clearly or could you use more analysis?