Did you see the piece in the March 2013 issue of ABA Journal by Bryan Garner? The guy who edits Black's Law Dictionary? Author of books on American, legal, and American-legal prosel. He wrote "Why lawyers can't write".


Mr. Garner said the great mass of legal writers think themselves Far Better at pen- and keyboard-wielding than the facts support. He cites "the Dunning-Kugler effect" as the chief cause of their blindness to the poverty of their prose. He compares lawyers in their guise as writers to duffers who delude themselves into thinking that their 23 handicap makes them the in-fact equal of Phil Mickelson or Tiger Woods.

As Wikipedia explains:

The Dunning–Kruger effect is a cognitive bias in which unskilled individuals suffer from illusory superiority, mistakenly rating their ability much higher than average. This bias is attributed to a metacognitive inability of the unskilled to recognize their mistakes.

Those who suffer from D-K do as the Black Knight in Monty Python and the Holy Grail did. As you will recall, when King Arthur's sword relieves the Black Knight of his upper limbs, he calls his injuries "a flesh wound". After Arthur then hews off his legs, too, he says "alright, we'll call it a draw." Dunning-Kruger.

The article doesn't explain why lawyers can't write, but you'll like it anyway. Mr. Garner does have a way with words.

B. McLeod does, too. He wrote in one of his comments on the piece:

I fur wan wuz glad to see this artikul.  Mini tymz ovur the yeers, aftur fileeng an upellit breef, I wood find a miztake in thair.  Eevun tho I red the theeng a duzzen tymz beefor sendeeng it in.  Now I reelize it must be beecuz of my bad golf skilz, which hav ulweez bin veree por.  To Mistur Garner for cawleeng this to my attenshun now I veree thankful am.  I hoap I will hav a chans eevenshulee to by his boox, or sum of such, so I can beegin to fix my awbveeus Dunnig-Kruger prawblum too.  Providud, howevur, that he duz not want too big a pryce for the such boox menshund hearin abuv (beeeeng nawt so much a faymuss ritur myself, I prawblee need to be mor cairful how I spend my munny).  Of corse, I hav bawt a fue boox beefor, but sum of them wur kwite unhelpful.  Fawnix, fur exampul, woant ulweez git yu thair.  Thatz fur shure.