Legal Writing: How to Write Compelling Arguments

arguments in legal writing

Effective communication is an important element that can define a successful verdict for any legal case. Legal writing is an important skill that holds a lot of power in the world of law and order. Lawyers having the best ability to craft compelling arguments are the ones who can help you tackle any complicated legal problem.

These people deeply know the art of persuasion. They also understand the importance of persuasion in the art of legal writing. This guide will explore the best ways to implement the essence of persuasive legal writing to craft compelling arguments.

The Importance of Persuasion

If we understand its core, legal writing is a form of persuasion, which is about presenting your point of view in a way that will influence the perception of a reader and impact their judgment. Consulting a lawyer will help you understand how they draft a motion, a legal memorandum, and a brief. They aim to convince their audience, i.e. the judge, jury, and another attorney. The way these lawyers craft compelling arguments will influence the results of their legal proceedings.

Argument Structuring and Organizing

Your argument should be presented in a well-structured and organized manner. If it is composed in a poor manner, it won’t have an impactful message, thus ruining your outcomes. Here’s how you can structure your argument:


Start with a precise introduction that focuses on the main issues and your position. State the purpose of your writing with the utmost clarity to attract the reader. After writing a compelling introduction, you can set the right tone for a convincing argument.

Facts Statement

Present the important facts of the case in a chronological and clear manner. You should provide the reader with sufficient context to help them understand the situation. However, you should refrain from sharing unnecessary details. You can build a powerful argument by understanding the facts of any case in a solid manner.

Legal Analysis

This is the center stage of your argument. You should bring the legal principles that can support your legal position. Furthermore, cite statutes, case laws, and precedents that are relevant to your case. You should also address counterarguments and separate them from the stance you took. Your ability to analyze legal principles and dissect them will showcase your expertise and enhance the credibility of your argument.


You should apply the facts to the facts of the case. You can do this after showcasing how the law will support your interpretation. The way you skillfully apply legal concepts to real scenarios will demonstrate your understanding and enhance the persuasiveness of your argument.

Precision and Clarity

Clarity is the most important factor in legal writing. You should refrain from using jargon and complex language that the audience won’t be able to understand. Use straightforward and easy language and sentences that ensure the audience can understand your argument clearly. Using twisted language can make your message and whole argument unclear.

Rhetorical Tools and Their Power

Rhetorical tools can help you enhance the persuasiveness of your legal writing. These include:

Metaphors and Analogies

Comparing your cases with famous situations can make your argument more relatable. You can also use metaphors to discuss complex concepts to help the audience understand them without any difficulty.

Emotional Appeal

Adding a touch of emotion while drafting a legal argument can humanize the overall content. However, you should not rely on emotions. Instead, you should balance emotional appeal with logical reasoning to create a perfect argument.


To reinforce the importance of your argument, you need to reiterate crucial points. You can repeat the points in a strategic manner to emphasize your key arguments. Repetition is helpful as a memory aid, which underscores the significance of the points you have made.

Parallel Construction of Arguments

Constructing your arguments in a parallel manner can make your writing more engaging for the readers. It makes your argument more compelling to read.

Authority and Legal Research

Research is the backbone of a solid legal argument. You must know relevant statutes and regulations. You can use authoritative sources that can help you back your claims. With a well-researched argument, you not only convince the judge and the audience but also earn respect from your peers and the judicial experts. Your position becomes firm with your ability to present and back up your arguments with credible and relatable sources.


Mistakes are inevitable. Even the finest and the most convincing arguments can have grammatical errors. You should proofread your arguments and edit the mistakes carefully to ensure they reflect professionalism and reliability. Lawyers always consult their colleagues to review their work and provide their views. A polished legal argument will showcase your commitment to excellence and improve your argument’s impact on the court.

Practice and Feedback

Practice makes a man perfect, which is the case with all the legal experts. You should regularly draft arguments, consult your mentors for feedback, and refine the arguments as per their recommendations. It is important to learn from your mistakes to grow in this field. You can get valuable insights from constructive feedback that will help you improve your argument drafting skills continuously.

Why is a Good Citation Important for Research and Legal Writing?

A good citation acts as a foundation for your arguments. It reflects the validity of your claims. Proper citation practices are important no matter if you are drafting a legal memorandum, a brief, or any other important matter. It will also help you improve your work’s ability to convince its readers.

Here’s how you can incorporate a good citation in your legal research and writing:

Precision and Accuracy

It is important for your citations to be accurate and precise. They should guide the readers to the particular source you’ve been referencing. This includes providing the exact number of pages, volume, year of the case, and its statute. You should check your citations effectively to avoid errors that could affect your argument’s credibility and reliability.

Authority and Relevance

Your citations should be relevant and authoritative. Citing relevant statutes, cases, and secondary sources will help you support your points in a direct manner. You can also use primary sources like court verdicts, statutes, and regulations instead of law review articles and commentaries that are considered secondary sources. The credibility of your arguments will be established by using sources that are well-established and relaible.

Incorporating Parallel Citations

It means referencing similar cases or statutes from various sources. Let’s say someone may publish a case in both a regional or national reporter. Include parallel citations to strengthen the reliability of your citation.

Explaining the Content

Citations offer reliability to your argument, but readers need a proper explanation to understand them. You can describe the relevance of the cited statute or case to your argument. But you should explain how it can support your position and undermine counterarguments. With such explanations, the readers can understand the legal principles at play and reinforce your argument’s persuasiveness.

Usage of Credible Sources

You should always use sources that are reliable and credible for your citations. You can rely on official decisions and verdicts of the court, statutes given by official legislative bodies, and established legal treaties. Refrain from citing sources that are not credible as they can make your argument weak.

Proper Bluebook Format

Blue-book format is a standardized system that is primarily used in legal writing to cite cases, legal documents, statutes, and other legal materials. Every legal expert uses this format. It will ensure your citation’s consistency and uniformity. This involves formatting rules for cases, statutes, regulations, articles, books, and other legal references. With the appropriate citation format, you can improve the professionalism levels of your arguments.

Canadian Legal Citation Guide

You can also take references from the Canadian Legal Citation Guide, as it can help the readers where they can find the laws that are relevant to your argument. It is effective in providing a brief overview of the basic principles and commonly used formats of citations for regulations, statutes, and cases, apart from other legal materials.

Cross-Check Your Citations

You should cross-check your citations to ensure the best outcomes. It is important to avoid any confusion or other problems while the reader is reading your argument. You can verify the data’s accuracy by matching it with the original source. Make use of online databases or legal search platforms that will help you confirm information, such as names of the cases, their volume and page numbers. Inaccurate citations will leave the readers confused and raise questions about your argument’s reliability.

Did You Know? Cross-checking citations has helped many important cases in Canada have the finest outcomes for various people. They were able to secure favourable verdicts.

Timeliness and Relevance

It is important for your citations to be relevant to your case as it can help the readers understand your argument effectively. Consider the timeliness and relevance of each case and statute while citing them. It will give readers information that will help them completely understand the legal landscape. Keeping yourself updated with these changes is important as it will help you present accurate and persuasive citations.

Ethical Considerations

Considerations on an ethical basis also play an important role in legal citation. Misrepresentation of citations to manipulate the case’s outcomes is considered unethical.

There were cases of sexual harassment where ethically presented citations played an important role in getting a free and fair verdict for the survivors.

You should make sure that your citation will accurately showcase the content and intent of the source. Your credibility can be damaged if you present misleading citations. It will also hamper the integrity of the legal discourse.

You should follow proper citation practices that will help you craft compelling arguments in an ethical manner. Precise, reliable, and well-explained citations will help you demonstrate your understanding of the law and enhance the persuasive influence of your work.

Ethical practices can also help you establish your position in the world of law.

Other Things You Need to Keep in Mind While Constructing an Argument

Compelling arguments need to be structured in a better manner that will help the reader understand the issue effectively. Here are some other things you need to consider while constructing an argument:

Understanding the Issue

You should have a thorough understanding of the issue. It can help you place your facts and citations at relevant times during the proceedings and avoid any problem for the readers to understand what you want to convey through your argument. It involves deeper knowledge of facts and applicable laws such as statutes, regulations, and case laws, along with other procedural requirements you may need. It will help you showcase your argument in an influential manner in front of the court.

Research and Analysis

Research and analysis of citations have helped the best lawyers deliver suitable verdicts for their clients. You need to invest a significant amount of time researching the case. You can discuss with the experts to find the best places where they can get your hands on authoritative legal resources in the province, including both primary and secondary sources. You can guide the reader on the best way to analyze legal materials effectively, recognizing important legal principles and potential arguments from both sides.

Legal Framework

You should know the best ways to construct a legal framework that can support the position of your client. This framework should be structured according to the relevant statutes and regulations along with the case law that governs the particular issue.

Practicing Oral Advocacy

You should also improve your presentation skills which will help you present your argument in an effective manner. It will enhance the chances of a successful and favourable verdict without fail. (What could happen if you don’t practice oral advocacy?)


Rules are for the obedience of the fools and guidance is for wise men. If you want to make your argument perfect for the court, seek guidance from senior lawyers who are experienced in presenting various cases and arguments. They will help you identify the weak points in your argument and ensure its effectiveness while presenting the case in court.

Summary and Recap

Having a summary is necessary for the readers to understand the crux of the case. You should briefly summarize the important points covered in the argument by reiterating the steps involved in constructing compelling arguments for your clients.

Additional Considerations

You can mention any further considerations that can be relevant depending on the particular legal context, like the professional code of ethics and court rules.

Closing Statement

Conclude your argument by emphasizing the importance of your citations and facts that will help you influence the court without any problem.


Crafting arguments that are compelling in nature through legal writing is an important skill that will help you win cases and earn the respect you deserve. It is something that every lawyer should naturally have. It will help them get a satisfactory judgment for their clients and ensure overall success in presenting the case.

The best way to improve this skill is to regularly practice drafting the compelling arguments for various cases. It will definitely help you improve the way you construct the arguments. Research and analysis are the other important aspects that will help you put ahead relevant citations for your case. It will help the audience inside the court to understand the position of your client in the case and ensure a proper verdict.

Hence, this is how you should craft compelling arguments that will influence the flow of any case