Thursday, May 26, 2011

The Supremes' Advice on Writing

I have seen link to the transcripts of Bryan Garner's interviews with seven then-sitting Supreme Court justices on writing and legal advocacy several places, but I thought it worthwhile to share it here in case anyone's missed them. I am a sucker for "how I do my work" type essays, and this is about the closest cousin to that I have seen from Supreme Court. The document is highly quotable, but I especially enjoyed this bit from Justice Scalia:
In my earlier days as a lawyer before the regression analysis took over the economic science, economic writing was so much more interesting than legal writing. There was not extensive footnoting; there were just references at the end of the piece. And it was written in a conversational, interesting style. I don’t know how we got off that track, but it’s a scary thought to think that economists were more interesting than lawyers [laughter]. It doesn’t have to be dull. To the extent that the writer can do so, I think he has an obligation to make what he writes interesting, if possible.

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