Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law

Law Library

Books for Legal Drafting and Writing


Books on Legal Drafting

A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting (Kenneth A. Adams, American Bar Association Business Law Section, 2013)
KF807.A33 2013

A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting is an in-depth survey of the building blocks of contract language.  The treatise focuses on how to express contract terms in language that is free of ambiguities and other problems.  It offers illustrative examples as well as analysis of sample terminology.


Contract Drafting: Powerful Prose in Transactional Practice (Lenné Eidson Espenschied, American Bar Association, 2010)

KF807 .E84 2010  

Through fourteen lessons, Contract Drafting provides an introduction to the substantive areas addressed in transactional documents and instruction on drafting topics that include avoiding ambiguity and proper word selection.


Hereof, Thereof, and Everywhereof: A Contrarian Guide to Legal Drafting (Howard Darmstadter, American Bar Association Section of Business Law, 2002)
KF250.D37 2002

Hereof, Thereof, and Everywhereof is an insightful guide into drafting legal documents in “plain English.”  The book has two main sections: Legal Drafting Generally and Legal Documents.  In the first section, the author addresses word choice, sentence structure, and document composition.  In the second section he provides guidance on how to best organize and draft legal documents.


Legal Drafting in a Nutshell  (Thomas R. Haggard, West Group, 2007)
KF250.H24 2007
This book is a compact guide to producing transactional documents, contracts, legislation, and regulations.   It offers both a broad overview of the topic as well as focused discussion of the mechanics of drafting legal documents.


Legal Drafting Books on Specific Subjects

Legal Usage in Drafting Corporate Agreements (Kenneth A. Adams, Quorum Books, 2001)
KF250.A32 2001

A guide to the conventions of language and structure in drafting corporate agreements.  The author discusses the parts of a contract and walks the reader through potential drafting issues, providing examples and analysis along the way.


Construction and Development Forms: Planning, Financing, Building (James A. Douglas and Jeanne O'Neill, West Group, 2003)
KF902.A D675

This multi-volume treatise provides model clauses and complete agreements for each stage of the construction and development negotiation process.


Fletcher Corporation Forms, Annotated (West Group, current)

Fletcher’s is a multivolume set divided into 32 categories that cover all aspects of corporate law.  In addition to forms, this resource also contains checklists and practice tips.


Working with Contracts: What Law School Doesn't Teach You (Charles M. Fox, Practicing Law Institute, 2002)
KF801.Z9 F69 2002

Working with Contracts is written for beginning lawyers and provides step-by-step guidance to drafting a contract.  Chapters in the book address contract building blocks, due diligence, drafting techniques, and amendments, waivers and consent.


Documenting Secured Transactions: Effective Drafting and Litigation (William C. Hillman, Practicing Law Institute, current)
KF1048.4 H54

This treatise simplifies the complex area of secured transactions by providing information on the legal, technical, and business aspects of these deals.  The book begins with the basics and goes into topics that include future advances, required provisions, after-acquired collateral, and authorization.


Commercial Real Estate Law Practice Manual: With Forms (James P. McAndrews, American Bar Association, 2001)
KF572.M38 2009

Commercial Real Estate Law Practice Manual provides information for beginning attorneys handling a commercial real estate transaction.  Topics the book addresses include brokerage problems, leases, mortgages, title insurance, easement agreements, and air rights.  The accompanying CD-ROM contains sample agreements, disclosure statements, checklists, easements, licenses, letters of intent, deeds, leases, and title policies.


The Lease Manual: A Practical Guide to Negotiating Office, Retail, and Industrial Leases (Rodney J. Dillman, American Bar Association, 2007)

KF593.C6 D55 2007

The Lease Manual provides close analysis of lease provisions from the perspectives of landlords, tenants, and lenders.  It address office leases, retail leases, and industrial leases, and discusses frequently negotiated issues such as net rent, gross rent, real estate taxes, subordination, non-disturbance, and attornment.  The accompanying CD-ROM contains commonly used forms ancillary to a lease transaction.


Banking and Lending Institution Forms: With Commentary and Checklists (Jacob W. Reby and James A. Douglas, A.S. Pratt, 2011)
KF972.5 .B26

This four-volume set contains forms, commentary, and checklists on all aspects of banking and lending. 


Negotiating and Structuring International Commercial Transactions (Mark R. Sandstrom and David N. Goldsweig, eds., American Bar Association Section of International Law and Practice, 2003)
K1005.6.N43 2002

Negotiating and Structuring International Commercial Transactions provides guidance on how to handle a wide range of issues that come up when negotiating and managing international business relationships.  Topics covered include dispute resolution, navigating trade and custom laws, tax matters, and labor and employment law.  The book also contains sample legal documents utilized in actual transactions.

General Form Books

American Jurisprudence Legal Forms 2nd ed. (West Group, current)

Am Jur Legal Forms is a comprehensive set of legal forms that contains form drafting guides, notes on use, and many sample forms. 


Legal Checklists: Specially Selected Forms (West Group, current)

Legal Checklists provides detailed drafting outlines and related forms in a multitude of practice areas including business organizations, real estate transactions, intellectual property, estate planning, and matrimony.


West's Legal Forms (West Group, current)
KF170 .W47

This multi-volume set provides customizable forms on a large variety of topics, as well as expert commentary, analysis, checklists, and library references. 

Books on Legal Writing


The Elements of Legal Style (Bryan A. Garner, Oxford University Press, 2002)
KF250.G37 2002

The Elements of Legal Style is the authoritative guide to all aspects of legal writing style.  The book provides guidance on what makes good writing good, and addresses mechanics, word choice, structure, and rhetoric, as well as special legal conventions such as headings and defined terms.


The Lawyer's Guide to Writing Well (Tom Goldstein and Jethro K. Lieberman, University of California Press, 2002)
KF250.G65 2002

The Lawyer’s Guide to Writing Well demystifies legal writing by offering remedies for common legal writing problems, usage notes, and editing exercises.


Plain English for Lawyers (Richard C. Wydick, Carolina Academic Press, 2005)
KF250.W92 2005
The pioneering publication on crafting clear and comprehensible legal language, now referred to as “plain English.”  Each chapter includes exercises in which to practice the principles presented.


Legal Writing Tools

Black's Law Dictionary (West Group, 2014)
KF156.B53 2014

This comprehensive resource is the most widely used legal dictionary in the United States.


Modern Dictionary for the Legal Profession (Gerry W. Beyer and Kenneth R. Redden, Hein, 2008)
KF156.R42 2008

This legal dictionary focuses on modern legal terminology, including slang and colloquialisms.


Burton's Legal Thesaurus (William C. Burton, Macmillan, 2007)
KF156.B856 2007

Burton’s provides thousands of critical-to-know legal terms, synonyms, definitions, and parts of speech meant to improve the precision of legal writing.


Garner's Dictionary of Legal Usage (Bryan A. Garner, Oxford University Press, 2011)

KF156 .G367 2011

Garner’s Dictionary of Legal Usage offers guidance on correctly using legal terms; each entry contains multiple properly cited legal sources as examples.


Oran's Dictionary of the Law (Daniel Oran, West Group, 2008)
KF156.O69 2008

Oran’s provides easy-to-understand definitions for common legal terms. 


Updated 7/14


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