The large part of an appellate lawyer's practice consists of writing. And one way to improve one's writing is reading. Thus I read lots of briefs written by the all-so-famous lawyers in town in order to improve my own writing and communication skills. Frankly, since I started this practice, it's been a lot of hit-and-miss. Take this sentence from one of the all-too-famous lions of the criminal appellate bar:
Appellant received ineffective assistance of counsel during the investigation of this case which severely prejudiced the Appellant resulting in his being denied the full benefit of his cooperation with the government.
The sentence violates a large number of Bryan Garner's rules of writing and then some. I did a quick re-write:
Smith's lawyer's performance during the government's investigation was objectively unreasonable, depriving Smith the benefits of his cooperation.
Note that my version is just a quick rewrite -- a reworking of the lion's original sentence without straying too far from the path that he's already laid down (my own work would have been entirely different).
In appellate practice, the proof of the representation is in the writing.