How are Predictive and Persuasive Writing Methods Similar?
All types of legal writing share the same similarities. That is, a person must continue to conduct legal analysis by determining what the law is and how it applies. Likewise, persuasive writing continues to follow a deductive approach by exploring how the law has applied generally before applying it to our client.
How are they Different?
The largest difference is the audience. In predictive writing, the audience is likely an attorney on your side or your client. In persuasive writing, the audience is going to be an individual who does not yet share your point of view. Thus, you must take any opportunity to persuade. This is quite stylistic, where the writer has greater authority to deviate from structure for the sake of strategy.
Ethics of Persuasion
Sometimes a person has a better chance of persuading others if they leave out context. However, in a legal setting, this is unethical which could result in severe punishment for the attorney. Never leave anything out of context. If there is a binding authority averse to your client’s claim, you have to include it. However, there are things you can do to minimize the effect averse arguments can have.
Tips to Persuade
First, speak clearly so there is no question what your position is. A reader should know from the first sentence if the author is arguing for or against a stand. As a result, you should not be tentative in your language. Hesitancy to take a stand shows uncertainty in your position. If you do not believe the position (in your writing) neither will the reader.
Second, know when to emphasize and de-emphasize a point. As mentioned before, points that are averse to your client must still be provided. But you can minimize their effectiveness by putting them in the middle of a sentence or paragraph. Any point you want to emphasize should be included at the beginning or end of a sentence or paragraph.
Finally, you should always state your argument first. If your client has a weak point, list out the strength first. If the client must accept some information as true, minimize that truth by justifying why that truth occurred.
The content contained in this article may contain inaccuracies and is not intended to reflect the opinions, views, beliefs, or practices of any academic professor or publication. Instead, this content is a reflection on the author’s understanding of the law and legal practices.