The importance of legal writing and drafting skills are emphasized by law schools by incorporating writing and drafting courses in their curricula. Different law schools train law students on how to use writing to analyze legal authorities and organize their analysis. Additionally, comprehensive legal writing and drafting program in law schools trains students on how to draft different documents. Different legal documents are written according to the different rules of writing and drafting. For instance, the rules of drafting an affidavit, legal opinions, pleading among other legal documents, differ. The essence of these writing and drafting skills is to ensure effective communication in legal documents. Therefore, the legal writing and drafting skills imparted by law schools are consequentially important when the students commence their law careers.
Trail advocates also use legal writing and drafting skills as a tool for analyzing and applying legal authorities. In Kenya, trial advocates rely on the decided case laws to plead their client’s case. Some of the case laws and legal authorities contain a lot of information that a trial advocate is required to analyze, synthesize and extract persuasive information. After obtaining the information, the advocate is required to incorporate the persuasive case laws to the relevant facts with an aim of convincing the judge to rule in favor of the trial advocate’s clients. While drafting the documents to the court, a trial advocate must structure the document logically to provide a coherent summary of the ideas in a written form.
Trial advocates also use legal writing and drafting skills as tools of the trade. Advocates are required to draft and produce quality professional documents. To draft such documents, trial advocates are equipped with skills and knowledge of creating legal documents that serve their intended purpose and audiences. While drafting, trail advocates must prepare the documents in a precise and concise manner. Additionally, trial advocates should have well-written documents without grammatical errors.
The ability to draft documents, reports, opinions, and submissions is particularly important for a trial advocate. Lord Denning emphasized this point by stating that cases in court are sometimes lost or won because of an advocate’s writing skills. In Kenya, judges do appreciate the well-written documents presented before the court. In the BBI consolidated judgment the presiding judges noted and commended the advocates’ writing skills as follows:
” …take this opportunity to express our sincere appreciation to the Counsel and parties who appeared in these Consolidated Petitions for their well-prepared pleadings and their well-researched arguments and submissions….”
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