Most lawyers spend a lot of time in Word. Word processing is a big part of legal practice, and many of the documents lawyers produce, like briefs, motions, pleadings, interrogatories, and contracts, can be long and complicated, with strict formatting requirements.
Below are a collection of tutorials and blog posts that demonstrate how to format a document properly. There are many ways to make your document look the way it needs to, but by using these tools, you can usually save yourself a lot of time and aggravation, and sometimes make it easier to avoid mistakes.
This is a common task when writing briefs
• Tabs for TOC & Authorities (1:46 min)
• Building a Table of Contents (6:33 min)
• Building a Table of Authorities (9:53 min)
• Using Microsoft Word’s table of authorities (lawyerist.com by way of the Internet Archive)
This is a useful guide to all the steps involved in formatting a legal brief in Word
• How to format an appellate brief (lawyerist.com by way of the Internet Archive)
If you create a kind of document frequently, you can save time formatting it by creating a template.
• Video: Create an easily customizable template in Word 2010
• Using Legal Templates in Word 2013
Styles make it easier to create and modify documents, and cut down on formatting mistakes.
• Using Microsoft Word Styles (lawyerist.com by way of the Internet Archive)
• Change Default Font and Spacing
Sometimes it can be hard to make a document do what you want, especially if you received it from someone else. This is how you look under the hood to find out what’s wrong.
• Fix Formatting Fast: Five Microsoft Word Tricks
Field codes are placeholders for information like dates and client names. You can use them to automate repetitive parts of document creation.
• Field codes in Word
• Insert fields
• The missing date code in your Microsoft Word document (lawyerist.com)
Keyboard shortcuts save time. It's almost always worth it to memorize them for the tasks you use frequently.
• List of keyboard shortcuts for Word
• Don’t lose that file! using Microsoft Word’s AutoRecover (lawyerist.com)