As noted at the 2012 hooding ceremony this past Saturday, May 19, 2012, our recent graduates join a long line of Marquette lawyers in their dedication to excellence, faith, leadership, and service. This dedication to the university’s guiding values will be the measure of their contributions as lawyers. Perhaps former Dean Howard D. Eisenberg, whose legacy both Dean Kearney and speaker Judge Diane Sykes drew upon during the ceremony, expressed it best: “For those who seek an opportunity to do…
“The four most important typographic choices you make in any document are point size, line spacing, line length, and font, because those choices determine how the body text looks.” Matthew Butterick, Typography for Lawyers: Essential Tools for Polished and Persuasive Documents, “Summary of Key Rules” (2010).
Does that sentence make any sense to you? If so, find Butterick’s book: you will love it.
If not, run out and get Butterick’s book: you need it.
After running a website on typography for lawyers, www.typographyforlawyers.com, Matthew Butterick last year published a book on the subject. The book seems designed to do for typography what Bryan Garner’s work has done on matters of style and usage—to convince more lawyers that this “small stuff” matters in their writing, in their approach to the practice.
Indeed, Butterick’s belief that “typography” should become part of the vocabulary and professional awareness of lawyers forms the “core principles” of his book:
- Good typography is part of good lawyering.
- Typography in legal documents should be held to the same standards as any professionally published material. Why? Because legal documents are professionally published material. (Corollary: much of what lawyers consider “proper” legal typography is an accumulation of bad habits and urban legends. These myths will be set aside in favor of professional typographic habits.)
- Any lawyer can master the essentials of good typography.
As you may have already seen, the blawgs have been discussing this recent order by United States District Court Judge Eric Melgren. Judge Melgren issued the order granting a motion for a continuance of a trial scheduled for June 14, 2011, in Kansas, after the defendant, a Dallas attorney, sought the continuance on the grounds that his first-born son was due to be born on July 3, 2011. The judge expresses his dismay at the plaintiff’s attorneys’ decision to oppose the motion: (more…)
I am happy to report the news that our Associate Professor of Legal Writing, Lisa A. Mazzie, will be one of Ms. JD's writers-in-residence for 2011. Ms. JD describes itself as follows: Ms. JD is a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to the success of women in law school and the legal profession. Ms. JD is governed by a volunteer Board of Directors comprised of law students and recent graduates and an Executive Director. Founded at Stanford Law School in 2006 by…
Today is Human Rights Day, a United Nations celebration that marks the date, December 10, 1948, when the General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. The current High Commissioner for Human Rights in the United Nations, Navi Pillay, gave a speech at a special event in Geneva to mark the day. One of her themes was that "criticism is not a crime," and she advocated for governments "to release all those people who have been detained for peacefully…