Bolch Judicial Institute
Duke Law School
One of the easiest ways to significantly improve all forms of legal writing is to replace heavy logical connectors with lighter ones (or none at all, where appropriate). Unfortunately, the myth persists that it is grammatically incorrect to start a sentence with the coordinating conjunctions and, but, and so. It’s a notion that every reputable authority on writing scoffs at. If you believe it, you will surely weigh down your prose and slow down your reader. So (not accordingly) here’s a handy short list. The ones on the left are not off limits, of course. But (not however) prefer the ones on the right; more often than not, they should work to provide a brisk transition. Judge for yourself in the before-and-after example.