Expert “Drop-in” sessions are open to any lawyer or law firm (contact us for special “all access pass” for your law firm). Each session engages participants through activities and examples on a specific theme of legal writing or speaking skills. You’ll get practice and feedback throughout the 60-minute session and time for specific questions afterwards.
Drop-in Topics and Schedule for 2020
- What is excellent legal writing? 16 Sept
- Know your audience – and answer the question 23 Sept
- Legal jargon – friend or foe? 30 Sept
- Comparative Legal English issues. 7 Oct
- How to write an excellent memo – part one 14-15 Oct
- How to write an excellent memo – part two 21-22 Oct
- What is excellent legal writing? 28-29 Oct
- Perfect your Legal Letter writing 4-5 Nov
- Know your audience – and answer the question 11-12 Nov
- Being cautious without extra words and phrases 25-26 Nov
- Legal jargon – friend or foe? 2-3 Dec
- How to write an excellent memo – part one 9-10 Dec
- How to write an excellent memo – part two 16-17 Dec
- IRAC, nonlinear outlining and ‘readerly’ logic 23 Dec
- Writing a professional e-mail 30-31 Dec
- What is excellent legal writing?
Arguably every lawyer can benefit from a short session on the current trends and best practices for excellent legal communication. This fun and lively session covers the 10 best principles or ‘tips’ for strong legal writing. It includes examples of each principle and participants complete short exercises covering the most relevant features of 21st century legal communication. Participants receive an E-book supplement.
- Know your audience – and answer the question
Knowing the audience helps lawyers win cases, listen to clients, and solve problems. This session covers the ways legal professionals can respond to the needs of their specific audience through the right tone, formality, and cultural-sensitivity. It challenges participants to be mindful of their own positioning, and use writing techniques to create a positive solution for clients.
- Legal jargon – friend or foe?
Clients often complain about ‘legalese’ and jargon in various texts, yet most lawyers find it difficult and time-consuming to make texts simpler. And sometimes concepts cannot be easily translated from latin and legal terminology. This session covers the ‘when’ ‘why’ and ‘how’ to use legal jargon by giving cases when a term cannot be changed, exposing the most frequently overused phrases, and simplifying them for readers. Participants receive a PDF Plain Legal English supplement.
- Comparative Legal English issues
Lawyers often find difficulty in choosing UK or US English added to the problem of connecting it to their own localized form of English. This can be embarrassing with spelling or word choice errors, and have serious consequences if the law is interpreted incorrectly. This session provides the key differences across the standard and non-standard usage of English, so that when lawyers draft a document it is consistent and responsive to the English of their audience.
- How to structure and edit a memo
One of the most common forms of legal writing is the memorandum. Partners ask associates to complete these very fast and yet without mistake. This session looks at the typical memo structure and ‘flips’ it to focus on headings, navigation, and usage. By the end of this session participants will reduce their editing time, increase their billable time, and ensure the client gets the solution quickly.
- Perfect your Legal Letter writing
One of the most common forms of legal writing is the formal letter. Lawyers spend a lot of time on letters without sufficiently persuading or informing the reader. This session covers best practices of letter writing, including finding the perfect structure, cutting and simplifying phrases, and ensuring that your tone helps the letter achieve its purpose. Participants receive a PDF letter template highlighting the best letter-writing practices.
- Writing a professional E-mail
Poor E-mail communication is the #1 complaint from clients about lawyers. This session teaches clear, concise writing principles, including the ‘one sentence paragraph,’ and how to get the right tone, then fix common errors – before clicking ‘send’. Participants rewrite sample emails during the session then receive a PDF E-Mail Checklist and list of proofreading techniques.