I asked this question, but still having a problem understanding this sentence.

'Lawyers write as they see other lawyers write, and, influenced by education, profession, economic constraints, and perceived self-interest, they too often write badly.'

I am having problem with the first part (lawyers write as they see other lawyers write). For me, this sounds like 'lawyers write in the way they observe other lawyers' which sounds ridiculus(I just approached this sentence grammatically). However, someone told me this sentence means 'lawyers write in the way other lawyers write, and they could know how other lawyers write by seeing them write.' Could someone please explain how this sentence is structured grammatically and how it delivers that meaning?


2 Answers 2


Your paraphrase is nearly there, but not quite.

Lawyers write [in the way that [they see [that other lawyers write]]]

So, as does indeed mean "in the way that"; but the thing being compared is not "the way that they observe other lawyers" but "the way that other lawyers write", according to their observation.


For me, you cannot separate the understanding of the first part of the sentence from the understanding of the rest because the whole context leads us to understand every part of it correctly. I can see that the meaning of Lawyers write as they see others write can be concluded from the final part of the sentence which tells us that the way in which they imitate other lawyers in writing ( writing's style, for example) plus being influenced by other factors like education, economy, ....etc, all in turn lead them too often to write badly. The result at the end of the sentence tells us that the other lawyers write badly and by imitating( not observing) them, we will get the same result which is writing badly. It's just my point of view.

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