Planet Money‘s recent episode, “Why Are Credit Card Agreements So Long?”, brought up the vexing issue of legal contracts, and why, paradoxically, making credit card statements simpler also makes them longer. Perhaps the authors of these barely-comprehensible contracts should pick up a copy of The Lawyer’s Guide to Writing Well, a mainstay of the UC Press list that William Safire wrote, “Should be in the office of every lawyer.”
In this video review of The Lawyer’s Guide to Writing Well, Phillip Taylor says, “In our opinion it should be in the library of — or preferably at the right hand of — every lawyer in the English speaking world. Lawyers who are at least dimly aware of the need for clear, concise communication should, if there’s any justice, end up with a lot more grateful clients as a result of having read and noted the contents of this book.”
On behalf of anyone who’s ever had to read a credit card contract, we hope the lawyers out there take his advice! Watch the video below, or read the full text of Taylor’s review on Amazon.