Adobe asseverates that

While there’s no one “official” font style for legal documents, there are a few court-approved fonts that are considered most easily readable:

  • Arial
  • Century (and Century-related fonts like Century Schoolbook)
  • Verdana
  • Adobe Caslon Pro
  • Adobe Sabon

Undeniably, a conflict of interest appears, because Adobe may be biased in favor of its own typefaces. Here I am asking merely about Adobe's typefaces, not others used or required by U.S. courts.

But that doesn’t mean that that’s how judges want things to be. In fact, there’s evidence to the contrary. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, for example, advises lawyers against using Times New Roman. (See pages 3-5 here) The appellate court in Connecticut actually requires briefs to use Arial or Univers. And the U.S. Supreme Court has long required lawyers to use a font from the “Century family” (e.g., Century Schoolbook).


We were reminded of the importance of fonts when the Virginia Supreme Court updated its list of acceptable fonts last month. Now, in addition to Arial, Courier, or Verdana, lawyers practicing before Virginia's highest court will be allowed to submit documents in Cambria, Century, Century School Book, Constantia, Franklin Gothic Book, Georgia, Palatino Linotype, Tahoma, and Times New Roman as well.


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