Highlights of this strong program include Professor Timothy Terrell`s discussion of legal writing. Professor Terrell is co-author of Thinking Like a Writer: A Lawyer`s Guide to Effective Writing and Editing. (Amazon bestseller ranking: 168,037 in books, 46 in books, > law > legal education > legal writing. Obviously, I can learn from this man.) Thinking Like a Writer offers practical advice that helps lawyers strengthen their writing skills by “thinking like a writer” as effectively as they already think like a lawyer. The book highlights guiding principles for writing clearly about complex documents and building credibility with informed readers, and then applies these principles to specific techniques that apply to many types of documents and audiences. At Emory, Terrell teaches the first-year course in ownership and courses in legal ethics, jurisprudence, and advanced legal writing. His publications, most of which deal with the intersection of legal theory and legal doctrine, have appeared in law journals at Georgetown, Duke, Northwestern, California, and Emory law schools, among others. He has lectured at Emory on topics such as “Rethinking Liberalism,” “Human Rights and Human Wrongs: An Investigation of the Jurisprudential Foundations of a Right to Violence,” and “The Role of the Attorney General.” Timothy P. Terrell has three distinct areas of teaching and academic reputation: legal writing, legal ethics, and legal theory. He has published extensively on all of these topics and often conducts legal education programs on the subject.

Particularly with respect to legal writing, he is the leading facilitator of programs for practicing lawyers and judges among law schools across the country, not only in the United States, but around the world. He has frequently advised law firms on legal ethics issues and has acted on numerous occasions as an expert witness in litigation on issues such as conflict of interest, confidentiality and judicial misconduct. Long story short, there`s plenty of room for improvement here. That`s why I`m always looking for ways to improve the quality of my writing. After graduating from Yale, Terrell was a partner in the Atlanta law firm of Kilpatrick Stockton (now Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton). Since joining Emory`s faculty, he has been awarded two Fulbright scholarships, one for the study of political philosophy at Oxford University and the other for teaching legal theory at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne in England. Terrell developed and then briefly served as director of professional development at King & Spalding in Atlanta. Timothy P.

Terrell has been a faculty member at Emory University School of Law since 1976 and has been a visiting professor at the University of Iowa, University of San Diego, and Newcastle-Upon-Tyne University in England. He has taught a wide range of courses, but now focuses on legal theory, legal ethics and property law. He has published extensively in all these fields. He has also maintained ties to the practice of law and frequently presents legal ethics education programs, in addition to writing for law firms, courts and government agencies, as well as for organizations such as PLI, ALI-ABA, and NITA. He spent several years as Director of Professional Development at the Atlanta law firm of King and Spalding. He holds a bachelor`s degree from the University of Maryland, Yale Law School and a law degree from Oxford University. Of course, you have heard such advice before. And that last paragraph came to such a level of abstraction that it gave exactly no useful advice to actually improve your writing. What does Terrell`s advice look like in practice? How would we write a paragraph or two that give the reader “focus before detail”? In the area of legal ethics, Terrell has developed three videotaped education programs – one for criminal justice, another for health lawyers – and an extensive program for law firm staff. He has also published several articles on the values that make up the professionalism of lawyers and frequently lectures on the subject to law firms and legal organizations. He was the principal advisor to the Lex Mundi Association when it developed its “Statement of Common Professional Values”, which can be found on the organization`s website, www.lexmundi.com I have not read Professor Terrell`s book and I did not know his work at the seminary. One of his main arguments seems to be that most technical texts (including legal writing) fail at the macro level because they pour too much information on the reader without providing context or structure.

His basic analogy is that when the information in a writer`s mind is fluid, too many legal writers simply pour that information directly onto their reader without giving the reader a container in which to collect it. Therefore, Professor Terrell stresses the need for “meta-information” in legal texts – signposts, structural opinions, etc. The trick to good technical writing, in his opinion, is to make the very complicated information simple and accessible. One of his mantras is “focus before the details”: let the reader understand what we are discussing before we go deep.