Resolution on Plain Language
by the 1992 Conference of the Legal Writing Institute
950 Broadway Plaza
Tacoma, Washington 98402
At its biennial conference in 1992, the international
association of legal writing instructors, the Legal Writing
Institute, adopted a resolution endorsing plain language. The
resolution was submitted to the 1990 conference; it was debated
in the October 1991 issue of its newsletter, The Second
Draft; it was the subject of a panel discussion at this
The resolution reads:
The Legal Writing Institute publishes a newsletter, Second Draft, and a journal, The Journal of the
Legal Writing Institute.
- The way lawyers write has been a source of complaint about
lawyers for more than four centuries.
- The language used by lawyers should agree with the common
speech, unless there are reasons for a difference.
- Legalese is unnecessary and no more precise than plain
- Plain language is an important part of good legal
- Plain language means language that is clear and readily
understandable to the intended readers.
- To encourage the use of plain language, the Legal Writing
Institute should try to identify members who would be willing to
work with their bar associations to establish plain language
committees like those in Michigan and Texas.