Photo: Rob Suisted
A roundtable discussion at PLAIN’s Vancouver conference inspired me to continue to explore why law students who are taught to use plain language are so eager to use legalese as soon as they are in practice (or before). My research has uncovered a variety of subtle and not-so-subtle influences that keep the plain-language community from making more progress, especially with new lawyers and other new professionals. This session explores those influences, introduces a variety of strategies to overcome them, and invites participants to strategize about their own solutions. The session will draw on research in our own field, as well as research in psychology, rhetoric, consumer behavior, and other areas.
Delegates will get an understanding of why people entering a new profession are so committed to using legalese or similar profession-specific jargon. Armed with this understanding, delegates will learn about strategies to overcome these barriers. Finally, delegates will have the opportunity to brainstorm about other strategies that might be effective in more specialized situations.