Opinion #6 - Do you still talk like that?
The world is changing at a pace that only a few can follow and it seems that innovation is only accelerating and we get new game changing products on a daily basis.
Also, the work environment has changed. Companies went from a highly formal dress-code and a office distribution focused on individual offices to a (maybe too) informal dress-code and open spaces (here is some history and critics to this change).
Communications are changing, transportation is changing, traditions are changing, everything is changing!! So my question is this:
WHY THE HELL SOME LAWYERS STILL TALK LIKE WE ARE IN THE 18TH CENTURY?
During my work as a lawyer I (obviously) read a lot. I read rulings, agreements, scholar's opinions, blogs, etc. and I have the feeling that sometimes the wording used by some of the drafters of certain pieces are
in total disconnection with the current tendencies of the speaking form of the English or Spanish languages. Yes, they will use all that wording instead of saying that they speak weird english.
While I understand that sometimes it is necessary to increase the solemnity of any text, all the flamboyance, the exaggeration and the complication of any text causes the disconnection of the reader and it fails to properly send the message. It bores and makes it difficult to understand.
Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, said that “The true scarce commodity of the near future will be human attention.”
Then why are lawyers trying to lose the attention of their readers by complicating things? Do they really thing that by being complicated they will become better lawyers?
My opinion is that one of our duties is to simplify the meaning of the law and to make it available to everyone. I try to do that every time I draft. If I can say it in shorter sentences and in a simpler manner, I will do it.
So let's start speaking some more "street" English and less "old" English.
If you think that lawyers need to change their style, please share this post to get the word out there!