Font Size Does Matter

At the NALS Annual Education Conference and National Forum I attended in Portland this past week, I learned an unbelievable amount of information, including a name for something I see a lot — a Frankenbrief.  A Frankenbrief is a brief that has had many people working on parts of it and then it is all put together into one document.  There are many problems with a Frankenbrief, including the flow of the document from so many different styles of writing by different authors, consistency with defined words and capitalization, justification issues, and different font sizes. When working on a Frankenbrief, you should automatically check the big things like the defined terms and consistency issues, but it is also important to check the little things, including justification or non-justification (being consistent with author preference although I personally think it is easier to read non-justified text) for each separate paragraph and font size.  There may be just a slight difference between 12 point and 13 point font, but someone who looks at a lot of typed documents (like a judge or a law clerk) can tell when there are different font sizes.  If you get a judge who is a real stickler who might find some 12 point font mixed in with the 13 point font required by the Court rules, the possibility does exist that he or she would not accept your document as deficient because of the font size.  It is just one more thing that makes a difference and shows the reader that you are paying attention to the details that will make their task of reading your document just a little bit easier.

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One Response to Font Size Does Matter

  1. I too attended this session, and I thoroughly enjoyed the two presenters. I definitely will take the tips back to my office to prevent the Frankenbriefing from happening in my attorneys’ briefs.