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Advanced Legal Writing: Theories and Strategies in Persuasive Writing, Third Edition

  • Michael R. Smith
Series / Aspen Coursebook Series
Teaching Materials
With a practical focus on persuasive writing strategies, Advanced Legal Writing: Theory and Strategies in Persuasive Writing explores three classical techniques: logos, pathos, and ethos, and provides students with a thorough introduction to the elements of rhetorical style. Unlike many other advanced legal writing texts, which tend to focus on a document-specific approach, this unique coursebook focuses on classical writing strategies that students can apply to a wide range of settings. The depth and scope of this text make it appropriate for upper-level legal writing courses.

The Third Edition has been expanded to include the use of movies and other popular culture media in chapters dealing with literary references. There have also been substantial revisions to the chapter on policy.


  • Comprehensive coverage of the technical aspects of rhetorical style: metaphor, literary allusion, and figures of speech.
  • Emphasizes theory as well as practice, building on three basic strategies of persuasive legal writing:
    • Logos: Logic and rational argument. o Pathos: Value-based argument.
    • Ethos: Establishing credibility.
  • Highlights interdisciplinary contributions to persuasive writing from diverse fields, including cognitive psychology, classical rhetoric, and morality theory.
  • Presents effective strategies that extend beyond the trial or appellate brief to a broad range of documents and settings.
  • Covers new developments in cognitive psychology, pathos, persuasion, and the role of metaphor in persuasive legal writing.
  • Depth and scope appropriate for upper-level legal writing classes.

Thoroughly updated, the revised Third Edition offers:

  • Substantial revisions to the chapter on policy.
  • Expanded chapters on literary references now include other media, e.g., movies and other pop culture platforms.
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Third Edition
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Legal Writing
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