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Microsoft Word Fundamentals for Efficient Lawyers and Law Students

This guide provides tips and links to tutorials for key tasks in Word that lawyers and law students undertake daily.

Why Word?

Microsoft Word dominates word processing in the legal profession; you cannot practice law without encountering Word. And arguably, you must know how to use Word to efficiently practice law.  While you might think you've mastered Word—you've been using Word most of your life, and you know how to type words into Word—chances are that thought gives you a false sense of competency. Knowing how to type words into Word scratches only the surface of Word's capabilities. 

You must learn how to effectively use Word for the following key reasons: 

  • Time efficiency. Practicing law is time consuming; word processing shouldn't be.
  • Marketable skills. Legal employers value Word Wizards.
  • Lawyering competency. Creating legal documents is the core of an attorney's job, and that process does not always involve administrative assistance. 

Need Word?

Law Students: To secure the latest version of Microsoft Word or Microsoft Office, go to the Microsoft Office Portal.  Click “Sign In” and login with your UofSC email address and password.  Then click on “Install Office” on the top right corner of your screen.

Need Other Resources on Using Word?

  Microsoft Word for Legal Professionals by Affinity Consulting Group

  Updated February 2023 

  Written for the unique Microsoft Word needs of the legal industry, this convenient PDF manual provides user-     friendly, step-by-step guidance along with extensive screenshots. For purchase through the American Bar Association


The Lawyer's Guide to Microsoft Word 2013 by Ben M. Schorr
ISBN: 9781614387022
Publication Date: 2015-08-07

Need Resources on Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Outlook, or Adobe Acrobat?

Attorneys also regularly use Microsoft Excel, Microsoft Outlook, and Adobe Acrobat.  For additional information on using these programs within the context of law practice, see the LibGuide for Law Firm Technology, specifically the Productivity Software tab.