April 2014: Applying Persuasive Legal Writing Principles To Proposals
April 7, 2014
Engineers, like lawyers, are educated and trained problem solvers. Engineers are trained in technical writing for exams, theses and the like, with the intent to lead the reader to the correct technical solution. Lawyers, on the other hand, are trained in persuasive writing for exams, litigation, and the like, with the intent to lead the reader to the author’s preferred conclusion.
We all know that a proposal is neither a creative writing endeavor nor a doctoral thesis. Rather, its goal is to clearly and concisely convince the customer to select, and defend, ours as the winning proposal…which is analogous (in a legal setting) to persuading the jury to accept our proffered point of view as “truth.” To help us achieve this goal in a simple, structured, and repeatable manner, we adapt the legal analysis and writing technique “IRAC,” which is the acronym for Issue, Rule, Application, and Conclusion, as shown below.