writing

Introducing Elegant Legal Writing

I am currently writing a book called Elegant Legal Writing that is under publisher review. To build an audience for the book and share what I am learning as I write it, I’ve decided to create a free blog and email newsletter with legal writing tips. You can read the first post and subscribe for free here. Thank you for your time and readership. —— Ryan McCarl (LinkedIn | Twitter | Blog) is an attorney and law professor in Los Angeles.

Elegant Legal Writing

A blog about how lawyers can convey their ideas in a clear, logical, and inviting manner.

Second Stage

Ryan McCarl's personal blog with short essays, memoir fragments, and notes from his readings and travels.

Introducing Second Stage, a newsletter and blog

It has been many years since I kept a personal blog, but I’ve decided to start again with a blog and email newsletter called “Second Stage.” You can read the first post and subscribe for free here. I’m not yet certain which direction Second Stage will go, but I hope you’ll subscribe and follow along. I anticipate writing short essays, memoir fragments, notes from my readings and travels, and recommendations for things I’ve discovered.

Productivity gurus and impossible goals

We live in the age of the “productivity guru.” A productivity guru is someone who advertises his or her own productivity and suggests that others can achieve similar results. I enjoy the books and other content produced by some people who can be characterized as productivity gurus—Cal Newport, David Allen, Tim Ferriss, and Marie Kondo, for example. But they have thousands of imitators, and for many of these, the core of their brand is exaggeration: exaggeration of what they have accomplished and of what you, the consumer, can accomplish by following their lead.

Claim preclusion across jurisdictions: navigating the labyrinth

The Daily Journal, a newspaper for California attorneys, just published my article Claim preclusion across jurisdictions: navigating the labyrinth. I approached this article in part as a teaching and writing exercise, and as a chance to articulate some of the problem-solving methods I apply to legal questions. I did my best to simplify a complicated subject while keeping the article readable.