Kimble Center for Legal Drafting
The Kimble Center for Legal Drafting’s mission is to produce and make available—to attorneys and consumers—legal documents that are clear and easily understandable, documents unlike anything that the public is used to seeing from attorneys.
Better Legal Drafting — for Documents of All Kinds
Every seat was taken at the inaugural legal-drafting seminar for the Kimble Center for Legal Drafting, held on Nov. 1, 2019 at WMU-Cooley's Lansing campus and through distance education at their other campuses. Three legal-drafting experts, Joseph Kimble, Mark Cooney, and Jeffrey Ammon, shared highly useful and sound advice to attorneys, interested professionals, and law students on best practices for drafting legal documents that someone can understand and want to read. The "brilliant" presentation, as one guest asserted, was generously sponsored by the State Bar of Michigan's Business Law Section.
About the Center
The Center will work with the school’s clinics and with bar associations to identify and draft the kinds of high-use documents that will most benefit the profession and the public. The Center’s Board of Advisers, now being formed, will boast some of the world’s foremost experts in plain language, information design, and user testing.
The Center also plans to offer occasional drafting seminars for practicing lawyers.
The Center is named for Joseph Kimble, a distinguished professor emeritus and internationally recognized expert on plain language and legal drafting. Professor Kimble taught legal research and writing at WMU–Cooley for more than 30 years and serves as a drafting consultant to the Standing Committee on Federal Court Rules. His work in restyling the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and the Federal Rules of Evidence earned him two prestigious Burton Awards for Reform in Law. He has also earned a ClearMark Award and the State Bar’s John W. Reed Lawyer Legacy Award. Professor Kimble was a founding director of the Center for Plain Language, has authored three books on the value of plain language in the law and government, and has edited the Michigan Bar Journal’s “Plain Language” column for nearly three decades.