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Write Introductions that Will Bedazzle Rather than Bore

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Your introduction presents two strategic opportunities. First, you can present your brief’s theme in a favorable light. You convey that theme through tone—this brief is going to be aggressive, boring, narrative, educational, or something else—and by telling the story in a way that is memorable and interesting.

Second, you can place your brief in the context of the larger case, one in which you’ve been working to convince the judge of your version of events. Your simple procedural motion can remind the judge what the case is really about; for instance, that this was the case about the Ponzi scheme where the government had plenty of chances to catch the crook and yet failed.

But accomplishing these goals is easier said than done, and it can be a struggle to write a compelling, interesting intro. To make it easier, aim to include five elements in your introduction: a hook, a theme, a reminder of the underlying facts of the case, the key legal arguments for this motion, and the exact relief requested. While this isn’t the only way to write an introduction, these elements will help ensure you meet those strategic goals; and they provide an outline for when you’re facing a time crunch or just struggling to make the text flow.