While I'm on the topic of writing, I thought I'd bring up one of the most serious problems I find in legal writing (though I suspect it's common in other fields, too): Needless abstractions.
Generally speaking, arguments are most effective when they are made using words that clearly describe the real problems that people face, rather than using abstractions (even if the abstract terms aren't especially legalese). Consider the following phrases, from student papers I got in my firearms regulation seminar:
... when law enforcement is unavailable.
Considering the amount of violence that is connected with guns ...
... will have a positive effect.
They are written in fairly plain English, and aren't hard to understand -- but they make their points through abstract terms such as "unavailable," "violence," and "positive effect," and the circumlocution "law enforcement."
When you want someone to protect you, whom do you want? Your visceral, real-life answer will be "the police," not "law enforcement." What do you want them to do? Your normal answer will be "come in time," not "be available." "When the police can't come in time" quickly engages the reader's practical concerns; "when law enforcement is unavailable" doesn't. (I assume that the "[come in time] to prevent a killing, rape, or robbery" is implicit from context; if it isn't, then some such phrase should be included.)
"Considering the amount of violence that is connected with guns" is likewise not nearly as effective as "Considering how many people are killed, injured, or threatened with guns." Killings, injuries, and threats are what people really worry about; "violence" is just the abstract term for that. Readers will intellectually understand what "violence" means, but they won't be as engaged by it as they would be by "killed, injured, or threatened."
Similarly, instead of "will have a positive effect," it's much better to describe the actual effect, for instance "will prevent many murders and suicides." No one wants "positive effects" in the abstract; they want specific, concrete benefits, and if you explain the benefits, people will be more persuaded.
One more example:
The waiting period provides a vital time frame, which allows an individual the time to reconsider their actions and consequently, lives will be saved.
This sentence contains several writing glitches; "individual" is legalese for "person," "a vital time frame" is vague, and "their" is plural while "individual" is singular. But the deeper problem is that the sentence is written using unnecessary abstractions. A better formulation would be:
The waiting period can prevent impulsive murders and suicides, by giving people time to calm down [optional: and reconsider their plans].
Instead of the general "time to reconsider their actions" and "lives will be saved," this explains concretely which actions (impulsive murders and suicides) will be reconsidered and which lives will be saved. It provides more substantive details, describes a concrete scenario for the reader (an impulsive person needs to calm down, or else he'll commit murder or suicide), and thus makes the argument more persuasive.
There are two situations in which the concrete is not as good as the abstract. First, sometimes one needs to use a term that's more abstract but more precise. For instance, "murder" is usually a better, more concrete term than "homicide," but if one is talking about a study that measures all homicides (including manslaughter, justifiable homicide, and excusable homicide), one must use the more accurate term.
Second, sometimes one intentionally wants to soften the emotional force of a claim, either because the issue may be too viscerally engaging (part of the reason that some articles use "sexual assault" instead of "rape"), or because one is describing the other side's argument. This second reason is not entirely praiseworthy, but it may be tolerable; persuasive writers have an obligation to describe the counterarguments honestly, thoroughly, and clearly, but they need not frame them in the most emotionally forceful way possible.
But these are exceptions. The rule should be to talk about what actually matters to the reader (the police not coming in time) and not about abstractions (law enforcement being unavailable).