For me, it started with a Bryan Garner seminar. His seminar will give new life to your writing, and you’ll leave wondering how your partners will react when you write your first brief without the long “COMES NOW” paragraph and with the deep issue statement at the beginning.
So you could start with a seminar. And then continue to study his books, particularly The Winning Brief. I also have Garner’s Modern American Usage and A Dictionary of Modern Legal Usage within arm’s reach of my computer.
But there are several other sources where you can learn how to improve your writing:
- The Legal Writing Institute’s Legal Writing eJournal
- LWI’s collection of Bar Journal Columns
- Gerald Lebovits’s columns
- Douglas E. Abram’s articles
- Join Scribes—The American Society of Legal Writers. I have dog-eared and highlighted the journals that you receive with membership.
- The Lawyer’s Guide to Writing Well by Tom Goldstein & Jethro K. Lieberman
- Lifting the Fog of Legalese: Essays on Plain Language by Joseph Kimble
- Writing with Style: Conversations on the Art of Writing by John R. Trimble
- More recommendations are posted on the Legal Writing Prof Blog
You don’t have to do this all at once. Start by browsing through the blogs and articles, finding the information that is most relevant to your practice.
And if you are still wondering what your partners or boss will say, read Wayne Schiess’s articles: When Your Boss Wants It the Old Way and What to Do When a Student Says “My Boss Won’t Let Me Write Like That”? But I think that most of your colleagues will appreciate your improved clarity. Let that clarity speak for itself.