A person can think well without being able to write well, but no one writes well without thinking well. From that profound claim, let’s move to the practical. Writing proficiency may in fact distinguish in-house counsel more than external counsel because busy executives have no patience for circumlocution, caveats, clumsiness and complexity. Legal genius needs the ability to express its ideas cogently.
One of the common criticisms about new graduates from law school turns to their lack of basic writing skills. An article in the NYSBA J., Sept. 2010 at 23, bemoans the poor writing skills of new lawyers. In the end, if the remedial instruction doesn’t happen at a firm, a law department may have to drag along a poor writer (See my post of Feb. 5, 2009: writing with 6 references.).