Rushing McCarl partner publishes book about litigation writing

by Rushing McCarl LLP Dec. 26, 2023

Founding Partner Ryan McCarl’s book Elegant Legal Writing (U. Cal. Press 2024) is now available for preorder. Like McCarl’s blog of the same name, the book shares strategies Rushing McCarl LLP uses daily to help its clients win high-stakes litigation cases. Our legal briefs use fast-paced narratives, tightly written prose, and innovative techniques such as diagrams and QR codes to persuade judges and create favorable battlegrounds for trial.

About Elegant Legal Writing

Ryan McCarl’s Elegant Legal Writing (book | blog) helps attorneys elevate their writing from passable to polished. Drawing on ideas from cognitive science, stylistics, and litigation strategy, the book teaches practical techniques by example using fast-paced chapters. Readers will learn the essentials of effective legal composition:

  • Writing clear, efficient prose
  • Crafting strong arguments
  • Telling a client’s story through a compelling narrative
  • Overcoming procrastination and drafting more productively

Readability, aesthetics, and argumentation are intertwined. Ryan McCarl shows how litigation documents that are easier and more pleasant to read are more likely to persuade judges and other busy readers. The book also discusses parts of legal writing that many guides overlook, including sentence mechanics, writing technology, and typography.


Elegant Legal Writing is a book to study and savor. Its non-intimidating and readable format exposes law students and lawyers to a plethora of crucial concepts to transform their writing from passable to great. Although the substance of legal writing is important, Ryan McCarl reminds us that persuasiveness requires more: style.” — Peggy Kline Kirkpatrick, Legal Writing Instructor, Mitchell Hamline School of Law

“Elegant Legal Writing is a terrific addition to the field. Bristling with sage advice and generous examples, this book will help you navigate nearly every legal-writing hurdle in your path.” — Ross Guberman, author of Point Made: How to Write Like the Nation’s Top Advocates

“This clear and straightforward guide will be tremendously useful for any law students or lawyers who want to improve their writing—something that all but the most gifted few should want to do.” — Eugene Volokh, author of Academic Legal Writing

“In this elegant guide, McCarl covers the good, the bad, and the ugly of legal writing. Packed with real examples and road-tested tips, this book is a lifeline for busy lawyers and law students who need to communicate clearly, effectively, and ethically under tight time constraints.” — Lee Fennell, Max Pam Professor of Law, University of Chicago Law School

The Elements of Style for the legal profession. McCarl’s tips will make your legal prose sing.” — Clifford W. Gilbert-Lurie, Managing Partner, Ziffren Brittenham LLP

“An excellent resource for legal writers at all stages of their careers, from law students to experienced litigators. Writing with the elegance that he advocates, McCarl instructs with clear explanations, helpful examples, and practical suggestions. He succeeds in demystifying the art of legal writing.” — S. Elizabeth Gibson, Burton Craige Professor of Law Emerita, University of North Carolina School of Law

“Keep McCarl’s tips in mind and judges will read your briefs with appreciation rather than frustration—which in turn makes for more auspicious oral arguments and results.” — Tim Kowal, appellate attorney and co-host of the California Appellate Law Podcast

About the Author

Ryan McCarl is a founding partner at business litigation firm Rushing McCarl LLP and an adjunct professor at Loyola Law School. Previously, he was a research fellow in AI law and policy at UCLA School of Law, where he designed and taught a course on advanced legal writing. He has given talks about litigation writing, motion strategy, and appellate advocacy to audiences such as the American Bar Association Litigation Section and the Texas Office of the Attorney General.

Purchase and Media Information

You can order Elegant Legal Writing here.

McCarl will be promoting the book through media appearances and seminars, including by offering workshops at law firms and elsewhere. Please email info[at] for more information or to see whether Rushing McCarl LLP is a fit for your litigation matter.

Ryan McCarl is a founding partner of business litigation firm Rushing McCarl LLP and the author of Elegant Legal Writing (U. Cal. Press 2024), which is available for preorder. Before co-founding Rushing McCarl with trial attorney John Rushing, McCarl researched AI and designed an Advanced Legal Writing course at the UCLA School of Law. Previously, he was a federal appellate clerk and a litigator at several prestigious firms. For more writing tips, subscribe to the Elegant Legal Writing blog and follow McCarl on LinkedIn.