You know the legal writing classes you took in law school? There’s a lot more to learn, and with a few steps, you can get better – and get better results. Guest Chris Schandevel is the “Brief-Writing Ninja” and passionate writing clear, simple, concise legal briefs that win over courts. 

Courthouses are busy places. Judges and clerks deal with a lot of distractions and competing demands. Make your briefs stand out boy making them easier to read and follow. Any jargon, excessive footnotes, parentheticals, and asides just add to the chaos and detract from your argument. Good writing, formatting, and attention to detail matter. 

Schandevel has created an easy-to-use, three-page style guide for legal writing and clear formatting. You don’t need to use fancy words to sell your case. Clear, simple language and a clean story help the court understand your argument and see your point.

Take a deep dive into the art and artistry of writing and presenting a legal brief at the highest levels, and get some tips you can start using today. (Plus, do you know the official preferred font of the U.S. Supreme Court?) 

Got questions or ideas about solo and small practices? Drop us a line at  


  • Judges aren’t impressed with fancy words and jargon. A clear, easy-to-read legal brief is easier to follow to the conclusion you want your reader to reach. 
  • Learn to remove barriers to the reader such as excessive footnotes, lengthy sentences and changes in “voice.” And do use the Oxford comma!

What is the “cleaned up parenthetical?” (And how is it being adopted at the highest levels of the law?) Find out. 

Mentioned in this Episode:

BriefCatch software

“Think Commas Don’t Matter? Omitting One Cost A Maine Dairy Company $5 Million”

“Cleaning Up Quotations” by Jack Metzler in The Journal of Appellate Law Practice and Process

“Legal Writing: Font Matters,” Thomson Reuters

Legal Office Guru

Legal Office Guru’s Deborah Savadra on New Solo, “Word Up 2: Creating Tables of Authority with Ease”