Monday, September 21, 2009

Typography for Lawyers

Typography for Lawyers is a website created and maintained by Matthew Butterick, a Los Angeles attorney. Mr. Butterick, a Harvard educated graphic designer before going to law school, notes that "[e]ven though the legal profession depends heavily on writing, legal typography is often poor." "Typography is always important because presentation is always important." Although some of the legal profession's typography woes can be blamed on rigid court rules governing the form of pleadings, Mr. Butterick claims that much of the problem stems from lawyers themselves. Font issues are discussed on the site, including the use of bold and italicized text. "Straight quotes should never, ever appear in your documents" (referring to the straight form of quotation marks, as compared with the curly form). "I recognize that many law offices will wimp out and retain Times as their official font." The site is divided into basic, intermediate and advanced levels, and addresses topics such as office stationery and internal memoranda, as well as court filings.

From InSITE.