Part of persuasion is presenting a readable and professional product. Your document’s design can help keep the reader’s attention. So when I draft and edit a brief, I don’t only focus on the content; I also review the layout and design of the document. I base my recommendations on the leading book on document design for attorneys: Typography for Lawyers: Essential Tools for Polished & Persuasive Documents by Matthew Butterick. I also follow Bryan Garner’s advice from his books and seminars.
Among other changes, I recommend the following:
- Increased white space.
- Upper and lowercase font for headings, not all caps.
- Ragged right margins.
- Footnotes for citations.
- Serif font.
- Serial commas.
- Curly quotes.
- One space after the period at the end of a sentence.
I’ve also studied the sources below in learning how to use typography professionally and persuasively:
Typography for Lawyers website, Matthew Butterick