Being in the legal industry requires excellent and adaptive writing skills not just because of the preciseness of the words that need to be used but also for the sheer volume of work. Whether you're a lawyer, paralegal, or law office staff, you need the right tools to help enhance your legal writing quality, accuracy, and speed to thrive in this fast-paced environment.
Given the caseload that anybody in the legal industry faces, you are bound to make a costly mistake if you’re not careful. Poring over numerous case briefs and documents is exhausting, so worrying about whether or not they are written well or are grammatically correct should be the least of your worries. Your time and energy are better spent finding ways to establish your argument to win.
It's a good thing that there are tools and software that can make your legal writing life faster and more seamless.
9 Legal Writing Software for Creating Briefs
Want to know how to improve your legal writing skills? Help is available. Here are some of the most reliable and well-reviewed software for creating legal briefs today.
Lightkey is a free, real-time text prediction software that’s designed to significantly cut your writing time so that you can focus on the things that matter. This software learns your typing patterns and themes, allowing it to predict as many as 12 words ahead, including punctuation marks. What makes Lightkey extra special is that it lets you correct your writing as you type, and not simply in retrospect like other spelling and grammar tools do.
With a powerful AI tool like Lightkey on your computer, you can power through several finely written legal briefs and other documentation in no time. Interestingly, the more you use the software, the better it can pick up your typing patterns so that the process becomes easier and faster the next time you use it. Lightkey adapts to your work, which is what enables it to recommend more relevant legal terms in the future. Best of all, it’s free.
Grammarly is, perhaps, one of the most popular spelling and grammar tools out there. This software can help make your writing flow more smoothly and recommend more appropriate words and revisions to boost readability. All you have to do is create your content in the tool or copy and paste your completed work and Grammarly will offer corrections in retrospect. It has a free version, but you’ll get the most from writing legal briefs if you sign up for the premium plan.
Hemingway is another popular tool that can help enhance your legal writing skills. The software is designed to make your content flow seamlessly and be more readable. It points out complicated sentences and suggests ways to simplify them. Just copy your brief over to the app and it will provide editing recommendations. Hemingway's paid version is feature-packed, but if you want to explore the product first to see if it's a good fit your legal writing needs, it has a free version as well.
This is a great tool if you want real-time feedback on your legal writing. BriefCatch offers editing suggestions as you compose, provides advice on formatting, corrects citations, and tells you what to do with hard-to-read sentences. If you're looking for a dedicated legal writing software that's designed by lawyers, this AI-powered editing software will make an excellent addition to your writing tools.
Copyscape is a paid online software that tells you if your brief — or any content for that matter — is original and is not plagiarized from anywhere else on the Internet. While you might not knowingly plagiarize anything, Copyscape can help point out potential plagiarism issues so that you can paraphrase your content accordingly or provide proper citations and references.
6. Google Docs
Most people are familiar with Google Docs, and you might already be using this at your law firm to share drafts of legal briefs easily and get feedback on them. What's more, it's 100% free. Another bonus to using Google Docs is that anything you type gets saved in real-time so that nothing is lost or deleted in case of a power outage or if your computer suddenly crashes.
PerfectIt is another writing and editing tool that caters to all types of industries, the legal profession included. When integrated with American Legal Style, a software designed for legal writers, you can create brief drafts easily and pinpoint grammar, spelling, and readability issues immediately. According to PerfectIt's website, it includes "13,000 legal-specific checks that only lawyers and trained legal editors would know to look for."
Although designed for authors, Scrivener can also be useful for legal writing as it helps you organize your notes to create a usable draft. If you're stumped by writer's block, Scrivener can help you get past that hurdle. Its ring-binder feature lets you break your notes down into smaller sections; then, the software stitches them together in a way that makes sense.
9. One Look Reverse Dictionary
One Look Reverse Dictionary applies to different types of content but can also be useful as legal writing software. It lets you describe an idea and then generate a list of phrases or words related to it, allowing you to choose the best fit for your brief. This is especially helpful when you're at a loss for words or have run out of things to say after creating so many legal briefs. This software is a wonderful tool that will help keep your briefs unique and fresh.
Create Stellar Briefs Fast and Easy With Lightkey
Legal writing is tough and exhausting. This is why you need helpful software that will make your writing easier. Lightkey is one such tool that evolves with you the more you use it. Best of all, it has a free version.
Lightkey offers free use for up to 1,000 keystrokes every month. If you need more advanced features like a content and vocabulary manager — plus unlimited keystrokes — you might want to check out our premium plans. Download Lightkey today to find out how it can take your legal writing skills to the next level.