Significance Of Legal Writing to Lawyers And Law Students –By  Umar Ishaq Katsinawa

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In general sense, legal professional cannot do without writing. A judge that reside over a matter, a legal practioner that represent a client in court, a solicitor that draft legal document and a law student, legal writing is imperative to all these categories.

In this write up, I will like to address the importance of legal writing especially to lawyers who go to court and represent client.

 Meaning Of Legal Writing

Dr. KM Danladi in his book “The Modern Nigerian Legal Method” define Legal writing to mean “any writing, the substance of which deals with the legal fact in issue or problem. For a lawyer to engage in Legal writing, he must have a good command of the English language and must have the ability to grasp, analyse and synthesize factual situations”.

Types Of Legal Writing

Generally, legal writing is of two types: problem type and essay type legal writing.

  • Essay type has to do with the personal in-depth examination of a particular legal subject matter (fact in issue). This is mostly done by the students/researchers in different learning institutions.
  • Problem type legal writing (which is our concern) is normally engaged by legal practitioners in the cause of litigation, which includes statement of claim, statement of defence, pleadings, brief writing, petitions among others.

Importance Of Legal Writing

Legal writing helps lawyer in all aspects of his profession.

  • When interviewing client, writing helps a lawyer to have effective interview and take down all the statement of the client.
  • When instituting an action before the court of law, lawyer needs to write all his statement of claim.
  • Defense counsel need to write a statement of defence showing there response to the claim files against there client.
  • When examining the client and witness before the court, some lawyer do write down all the questions needed to ask.
  • When the case is on going in court, lawyers and judges do take brief, for documentation and step forward.
  • Writing petitions helps lawyers when seeking an immediate court order before the hearing date.
  • When a lawyer is making or intended to make a request to the court like bail. Writing is imperative.
  • Lawyers do make research and write down findings for the benefit of themselves and their younger ones.


Legal proceeding can not be separated in anyway from writing. Hence, legal writing has three essential elements: Accuracy, bravity and clarity.

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