About this website

My name is Matthew Butterick. I’m an attorney in Los Angeles. But long before I became an attorney, I got a degree in art from Harvard, focusing on graphic design and typography. After college, I worked as a designer of digital fonts.

Even though the legal profession depends heavily on writing, legal typography is often poor. Some blame lies with the strict typographic constraints that control certain legal documents. But the rest of the blame lies with lawyers. To be fair, I assume this is for lack of information, not lack of will.

I started this website in fall 2008. At the time, I thought it would appeal to a handful of curious lawyers. But since then, the response has been both overwhelming and overwhelmingly positive. I’ve heard from lawyers (and nonlawyers) all over the world about how this information is making a difference in their work. The website has been recommended in books, in magazines, on blogs, and elsewhere. I’m tremendously grateful to everyone who has spread the word.

As a result of this enthusiasm, I’ve turned the website into a book released by Jones McClure Publishing. Let me be clear: if you like this website, I really do want you to buy the book.

Much of the material here on the website has been excerpted from the book (except for court rules, which don’t appear in the book, nor the Essays). But about two-thirds of the book isn’t on the website, including:

  • Dozens of visual examples
  • Specific technical instructions for Word 2003, 2007, 2010, WordPerfect X5, and Pages ’09
  • Key commands for Windows, Mac, and HTML
  • Details, interesting asides, and time-saving tips

You can download PDF sample pages from the book for the following topics:

The Kindle edition looks different than the printed edition, of course, but it’s not just a text dump—I designed and built it by hand, and it’s fully illustrated and cross-linked.

Follow me on Twitter if you’re into that sort of thing: I’m mbutterick. You can also email me at mb@typographyforlawyers.com.

—Matthew Butterick