Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Legal Writing

Picky, Picky, Picky: Formatting an Appellate Brief By Maureen B. Collins September 2002 Column, Page 491 Don't try to understand the often picayune rules that govern typefaces, paper color and the like; just learn and follow them.
Write for Success in Discovery By Maureen B. Collins March 2002 Column, Page 149 Don't underestimate the importance of interrogatories and other forms of written discovery as a way to glean information that can strengthen your case.
To Write or Not to Write: Written and Oral Discovery Compared By Maureen B. Collins February 2002 Column, Page 97 Interrogatories and depositions each have their strengths and weaknesses; here are basic guidelines for deciding when to use which discovery technique.
A Place for Policy By Maureen B. Collins October 2001 Column, Page 543 If you can persuade the judge that ruling in your client's favor means doing good, you'll probably do well.
Writing Like a Lawyer Means Thinking Like a Lawyer By Maureen B. Collins September 2001 Column, Page 493 A new book makes legal analysis as simple as one-two-three.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie C. McGrath August 2001 Column, Page 394 Name-calling brief writers get a pass; Gramm-Leach-Bliley may require lawyers to send privacy notices; and more.
A Punctuation Primer By Maureen B. Collins August 2001 Column, Page 433 It isn't too late to learn the all-but-lost art of proper punctuation.
Writing That Stirred Your Souls By Maureen B. Collins July 2001 Column, Page 377 We asked you, Gentle Readers, to send us writing that moved you. Here are excerpts from your responses.
The Message, the Method, the Madness By Maureen B. Collins June 2001 Column, Page 321 For some communication, e-mail is just the thing; other times, only a phone call will do. As you think about what message to send, consider how best to send it.
Point/Counterpoint: Crafting a Counter-Argument By Maureen B. Collins May 2001 Column, Page 267 Learn to counter your opponent's arguments without giving them too much weight.
Writing as Art By Maureen B. Collins April 2001 Column, Page 207 Some writing has special power; the power to move people. And isn't that what lawyers aspire to do?
Verbs Are It By Sue Liemer March 2001 Column, Page 151 Want to improve your writing in a hurry? Go heavy on the verbs, easy on the nouns.
Correspondence from Our Readers January 2001 Column, Page 6 The Bluebook and Supreme Court Rule 6; you can't follow both.
The Lost Art of Drawing a Conclusion By Maureen B. Collins January 2001 Column, Page 45 Somewhere between "the one hand" and "the other" may be the answer your client hired you to provide.
Legal Writing Can be a Scream By Maureen B. Collins December 2000 Column, Page 725 A gallery of horrors awaits legal writers who aren't attentive to; or who play fast and loose with; the details.
Bluebook Blues: Changes in the Seventeenth Edition By Maureen B. Collins November 2000 Column, Page 663 Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, the new edition of the Bluebook is waiting to taunt you with its incomprehensible minutiae.
A Civil Action By Maureen B. Collins October 2000 Column, Page 601 It may not be in your client's best interest to approach your relationship with opposing counsel as if it were war.
Why Brief Writing is Like Ice Hockey By Lisa J. Freedman August 2000 Column, Page 477 Find out what the best appellate lawyers and the Great Gretzky have in common.
An Editing Checklist By Maureen B. Collins July 2000 Column, Page 415 Learning to be your own editor is an important but challenging job. This checklist can help you revise your own work.
A Legal Writer’s Bookshelf By Maureen B. Collins June 2000 Column, Page 359 Been a while since you sharpened your writer's saw? These books can help.
Lawyer as Storyteller By Maureen B. Collins May 2000 Column, Page 289 To be truly persuasive, don't just write a brief; tell a story.
Electronic Briefs: The Time Has Come By Todd H. Flaming April 2000 Column, Page 233 Here's how to create an electronic brief that includes exhibits, signed documents; everything you'd include in a paper version. For an example, see /ibj/apr00lj/ebrief.pdf.
Recommendations for Rookie Writers By Maureen B. Collins April 2000 Column, Page 237 Okay, you've got a real job now; how do you transfer your writing skills from the classroom to the real world of lawyering? Here are some tips.
Drafting with Style By Maureen B. Collins March 2000 Column, Page 173 In the last two columns we looked at the drafting process and component parts of transaction documents.
Drafting Transaction Documents: The Pieces of the Puzzle By Maureen B. Collins February 2000 Column, Page 110 Assemble the standard provisions and create the picture of a well-done deal.
The Lawyer’s Journal By Bonnie McGrath February 2000 Column, Page 62 Banks and title insurance; fees for foiled FOIA requests; crafting affirmative action plans; and more.
Creating a Document to Meet Your Client’s Needs By Maureen B. Collins January 2000 Column, Page 47 Drafting a seaworthy document requires more than pasting form provisions into place; you have to learn the facts and the law.
Uncomplicating the Citation Process By Andrea Kaufman December 1999 Column, Page 675 Move over Bluebook; a soon-to-be-released citation manual provides much clearer answers with many fewer words.
How to Read a Writing Sample By Maureen Beth Beazley November 1999 Column, Page 615 You don't have to read every word of a writing sample to assess its quality. Here's what to look for.
Getting the Legal Writing Sample You Need By Mary Beth Beazley October 1999 Column, Page 557 Last month's column urged employers to assess the writing skills of prospective hires; this month, learn how to get the writing sample you need.