“Legal Writing and the Lone Ranger” by Daniel J. Kornstein
Joseph D. Nohavicka
This little book (67 pages) is about legal writing. Attorney Kornstein states authoritatively in the beginning of his book, (using the active voice, as he cautions us to do), that: “You are how you write.” It is effortless to read.
Yes. It is short, and easy to read — actually DOING what it says TO DO: be creative but write clearly, simply, and avoid legalese.
This book is so important for anyone that does any kind of legal writing whatsoever, whether you are a lawyer, law clerk, intern or just someone who has the need to write about the law.
Legal Writing and the Lone Ranger, is very good for lawyers and staff who want to write to be understood — not to be understood as being highly educated and intelligent at the expense of alienating the reader.
Just as all writers should have a copy of The Elements of Style at arms length, legal writers really should have a copy of Legal Writing and the Lone Ranger, close by.
I have read other work by Attorney Kornstein (e.g., The Second Greatest American — autographed copy on file in the Astoria office), which was a very different kind of biography of Oliver Wendell Holmes. That book is beautifully written and very interesting. I enjoyed reading that book very much. Regrettably, it did not make a lot of noise.
But Legal Writing and the Lone Ranger, is a great contribution to the legal profession. And this book will make noise for quite some time.
A very good attorney friend of mine once said that “There is a special place in heaven for lawyers who help other lawyers.”
Thank you, Dan!