If I got a billable hour for every e-mail I’ve received telling me I’ve won the lottery in the United Kingdom or that some despot’s son in Nigeria urgently needs my bank account number to wire me $5.83 million, I’d be managing partner by now. But, while these messages are almost as annoying as constructive criticism, what most people don’t realize is that some spam offers valuable lessons for those of us trying to develop an effective writing style.

The key to strong legal prose, like effective spam, is to sound believable enough to entice your reader to continue reviewing your e-mail out of curiosity, while maintaining a constant state of subtle confusion. This is the key to rainmaking as well, but I digress.

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