Choosing Fonts for E-filing to Cater to Screen or Page

Some weeks back I wrote about whether lawyers should write for the screen or for the page in the era of e-filing (you can e-file in the Georgia Supreme Court and Court of Appeals now). It turns out that there is a way to hedge your bets, at least in terms of font selection. Kendall Gray, over at The Appellate Record, has teamed up with Matthew Butterick (I wrote about his excellent book earlier) to figure out the best fonts to choose when your appellate panel may either print your brief out or read it on the screen. Part 1 gives you the short answer. Part 2 gives you the even nerdier explanation (and nerd is not a perjorative term spoken from this law-nerd).

The answer is that, as long as you are submitting your brief as a pdf, you don’t have to use a screen-optimized font. Now, as to what font is best for a brief, take a look at Typography for Lawyers. It’s even reviewed over at MacSparky, my very favorite law-nerd sight (David Sparks doesn’t focus on the fact that he’s a lawyer, but it comes out a lot in his writing and in his Mac Power Users Podcast).

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