Legal Documents

I just finished a lengthy legal brief using Scrivener. Legal writing is the only kind of writing I know of where plagiarism is a virtue rather than a vice (I am referring to court submissions and not the preparation of textbooks or articles). Scrivener lets me put my research in the top pane (just found out you can do left/right) and the draft in the bottom pane, cutting and pasting away. I’m resisting the temptation to ask for features so that it would be possible so as to be able to use Scrivener exclusively, but at this point I export the file into Open Office and print from there. This process is much easier than the alternatives in Word or Open Office.

Another trick you might find useful is the Append Selection to Document function. While scrolling through a source “research” file, select the legal text you need to copy verbatim and then right-click on it. You’ll see an option “Append Selection to Document”, which then leads to a tree of all your files in the Binder. Consequently, you might find it easier to put a working document as close to the top as possible, so that it is a quick matter to get to it from this menu. Once you’ve gathered everything, you can switch back to the target document and clean up the appended material as required.