#3 Big Words

Lawyers like to use big words. Little words are boring and unnecessarily concise. Big words are impressive and are indisputable evidence of one’s legal prowess.

Words with multiple syllables are the preferred method of communication. The more syllables, the better. The longer the individual words, the more convoluted the sentence, and the more likely you are to hopelessly confuse your client, your opponent, the judge and the jury. And, as every good lawyer knows, mass confusion inevitably leads to victory.

Big words from another language, preferably Latin, are particularly sought after commodities in the legal profession. Drop a Latin term and your opponents are sure to take notice and will most likely respond in kind. Eventually the battle of wits will devolve into a conversation occurring solely in a language that neither of you actually speaks.

Everyone around you will be sure to sit up and take notice. It’s a surefire way to expand your client base. That is, as long as your clients don’t speak Latin.


Today’s guest blogger is Nicole Black, who is of counsel to Fiandach & Fiandach in Rochester, New York.  She co-authors a Thomson West treatise, Criminal Law in New York and writes a weekly column for the Daily Record.  She also publishes three blogsSui Generis, Legal Antics, and Women Lawyers.


2 responses to “#3 Big Words

  1. Amen, sister. I mean, incontrovertible, counselor. Oh, and de minimis non curat Lex.

  2. our corollary is big French words in our Louisiana laws (with source in the Code Napoleon) with which we impress the out of state (foreign) lawyers and force them to hire us to do they same thing they do in their own state but under our own unique legal name here. (usufruct for example)

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