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In 1954, a 12-year-old junior high school student wrote to Justice Felix Frankfurter seeking advice about how to prepare to become a lawyer. “The best way to prepare for the law,” Frankfurter answered, “is to come to the study of law as a well-read person.” Reading other writers, he explained, enables future lawyers to “acquire the capacity to use the English language on paper and in speech and with the habits of clear thinking.”

Justice Frankfurter offered his young correspondent sound advice about the intimate link among reading, writing, and lawyering. Reading works from other writers with an eye toward developing one’s own writing skills, however, should continue even after receiving a law degree and entering the legal profession. A lawyer’s quest for improved writing skills remains a lifelong pursuit.



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