Grammarly is a tool that helps improve your writing by checking for errors and readability. It also has a plagiarism detector that will check the copied text against over 100 billion web pages online, ensuring you are not violating copyright law. Grammarly is free to use with limited features or $29 per month for unlimited features.
Think Grammarly isn’t for attorneys or legal professionals? Think again.
Grammarly is a simple way to make sure all of your content is error-free and original. In this guide, we will walk you through the ins and outs of Grammarly so you can use it like a pro.
Improve Your Writing from Demand Letters to Writs of Supersedeas
Few things are more embarrassing than sending an email to opposing counsel rife with grammatical errors or submitting an unclear legal brief. Grammarly can help improve your writing by leaps and bounds faster than you can make that third cup of coffee.
Grammarly is a powerful, free online and web-based grammar checker that can help you find errors in your writing. Grammarly offers proofreading suggestions to make your writing clear, mistake-free, and compelling.
Let’s look at Grammarly’s Features.
An Overview of Grammarly
Grammarly is a cloud-based software that can be downloaded onto your computer or mobile device. It also has browser extension capabilities to see any mistakes as you type, and the app will check not only spelling and punctuation but style, readability too.
The app will identify problems with sentence structure, word choice, subject-verb agreement, pronoun case, verb tense, article usage, hyphenation, and more.
- Spelling and Grammar: forget Microsoft spell check. Grammarly is an advanced tool that catches errors in spelling, syntax, grammar, and more.
- Portability: with Grammarly’s browser add-ons for Chrome, Safari, and Firefox, users can take advantage of the app’s services when using Twitter, Facebook, Gmail, and other platforms.
- Grammar Resources: granted, there are some things humans can still do better than machines, so Grammarly offers a free forum for users to ask questions, learn about style, and how best to use Grammarly for all of their writing needs.
- Advanced Issues Analysis: easily detect problems with your writing such as passive voice or unclear use of antecedents.
- Expand Your Lexicon: improve your clarity and reduce overused words with Grammarly’s dictionary and thesaurus resources.
- Plagiarism Checker: Grammarly will check your content across billions of websites to ensure your text is original.
- Professional Proofreader: For those critical documents, Grammarly will connect you with a real-live proofreader to review your work for an additional charge.
Not all features are offered in the free version. You see the differences in plans here.
How Attorneys Should Use Grammarly
If you have the Professional or Business Plan and you’re using the browser-based Grammarly app, simply paste your content into the Grammarly document.
It will ask you to set some goals by prompting you to choose:
- Audience – General, Knowledgeable, Expert
- Formality – Informal, Neutral, Formal
- Domain – Academic, Business, General, Email, Casual, Creative
- Tone – Neutral, Confident, Joyful, Optimistic, Friendly, Urgent, Analytical, Respectful
- Intent – Inform, Describe, Convince, Tell a Story
If you have the Basic Plan, you will not have the option to choose these goals.
Instead, Grammarly will automatically start analyzing your content for:
- Correctness – grammar and spelling
- Clarity – highlighting unclear sentences
- Engagement – word variation
- Delivery – tone is as intended
- Style – Grammarly Business enables your entire team to match style consistently
Grammarly makes it easy to go through your text line by line to correct any deficiencies. As it makes suggestions, you can simply click on a suggestion you agree with, and it will automatically change your text for you. Just remember to copy the updated text and paste it back into your document.
You’ll also receive an overall score out of 100, which corresponds to the quality of the writing.
If you click on that score, you’ll find additional information about the content, including:
- Word Count
- Character Count
- Sentence Count
- Reading Time
- Speaking Time
- Word Length
- Sentence length
- Readability Score
As you make changes to your text, that overall score will change. Aim for over 90 for high-quality content. As you incorporate Grammarly’s suggestions, your score will naturally improve.
How Law Firms are Leveraging Grammarly
Lawyers are no strangers to the importance of grammar. They know that a single misplaced comma can alter the effect of a contract. They understand how an incorrectly spelled word can be enough to undermine their credibility and make them look foolish. It’s not surprising, then, that many law firms have started using Grammarly as a tool in their arsenal for ensuring clients receive error-free legal documents.
Grammarly makes it easy for lawyers to leverage its tools in a variety of settings by creating an ever-expanding list of add-ons, including:
- Microsoft Suite
- Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge Browsers
- Google Docs (Beta)
- iOS and Android Phones
Need to draft an email to a client to update them on their case? Draft that email in Grammarly first, so it doesn’t look like you’re writing to them from the Starbucks drive-thru (even if you are). Because Grammarly is cloud-based, your documents are synced across all of your devices.
Typical applications lawyers use Grammarly for:
- Internal and external email communications
- Demand letters
- Legal briefs
- Internal memos, policies, and procedures
While those are the more obvious uses for Grammarly in a legal context, lawyers are also using Grammarly to draft:
Essentially, if you write it, Grammarly can analyze it and improve your writing in minutes.
Still not convinced that Grammarly can make you a better lawyer? Grammarly is. So much so that they wrote this in-depth article on How Grammar Influences Legal Interpretations.
Is Grammarly Perfect for Law Firms?
Not yet. The major drawback to using a machine to check your writing in a highly specialized field like the law is that there will invariably be words with which Grammarly is unfamiliar. When you first start out using the tool, you’ll see flags on correct but uncommon words. However, because you can add these words to your dictionary, Grammarly becomes smarter and incorporates your changes into its algorithm.
As you continue to use Grammarly in this way, it becomes even more helpful and accurate. Of course, it is always advisable to re-read what Grammarly recommends to ensure it has not offered a suggestion that, while correct in another context, may not be what you meant to say.
Is Grammarly Secure?
Like any cloud-based tool, security is always a concern, especially among lawyers. Grammarly promises industry-standard encryption of all data both in transit and at rest. You can read Grammarly’s Trust document here.
How Will Your Law Firm Use Grammarly?
As a lawyer, you understand that the words you choose matter. You’ve spent years learning the nuances of grammar and legal language, but even these skills won’t help if your writing is unclear or contains errors.
The English language has an endless supply of rules about sentence structure and word usage. It’s easy to make mistakes without knowing it. Even simple typos can have serious consequences when they go uncorrected in legal documents.
Grammarly is designed for writers who want to improve their writing in any context—from emails to blog posts to academic papers and court filings. Grammarly catches all types of spelling mistakes so you always look polished and professional with every written communication.
You deserve to have an excellent reputation in the legal community. Never settle for anything less than perfection when it comes to your work product. That’s why we recommend Grammarly as one of the best tools available today for improving clarity and credibility in written communications.