Clear contract drafting and legal writing PSC

Practical and interactive online workshop. The trainer reviews and helps with drafting in breakout rooms.
Example outline below for a 6-hour course (three sessions of 2 hours each). Can vary content and duration.
Small groups of up to 12 preferred, but please discuss higher numbers with us. 

Why choose this skills course?

This highly practical workshop grounds trainees in drafting and writing clearly, confidently and effectively. By completing exercises throughout, trainees draw out and practise guidelines to improve style and ensure completeness and accuracy. They work mainly on precedent clauses and letters or emails. They also brush up on some grammar and punctuation.

What will trainees achieve by attending?

They will:

    • be able to spot and avoid both common and their own drafting and writing issues
    • become familiar with and start adopting guidelines for clear drafting and legal writing
    • be able to assess and amend precedent clauses for style and completeness
    • acquire a basis from which they can develop skills in drafting from scratch

What will we cover on contract drafting?

    • Writing for the reader and for your purpose
    • Best practice for using precedents
    • Understanding and assessing difficult precedent clauses
    • Structuring clauses
    • Ensuring completeness of content and language
    • Keeping drafting short and simple, including tenses, active and passive voice, syntax, and word choice
    • Dealing with provisos and exceptions
    • Minimising cross-referencing with subject to and notwithstanding
    • Recognising and avoiding ambiguity (some basics)
    • Choosing language of obligation and discretion: shall, will, must and may

What will we cover on general writing?

    • clear writing guidelines for legal correspondence or reports
    • structuring/information order
    • punctuation review and proof reading for common grammar errors

Exercises throughout mainly on deconstructing and redrafting poorly drafted clauses and letters or
report extracts; some writing and drafting from scratch.

Online method

Zoom (preferred) or similar platform
Work in pairs, threes, group and alone
Breakout rooms: trainer monitoring,
screen sharing and joint document annotating
Homework between sessions

Course materials

Guidelines with summary checklist for use in the office
Exercises, drafting analyses and suggested redrafts 


Stella Styllis or Alan Simmons