Effective legal writing

Practical and interactive online workshop, with trainer monitoring of drafting in breakout rooms.
PSC elective or for solicitors at all levels. Content and duration can be varied. Combines well with follow-on one-to-ones.

Example outline below for a 3.5-hour course (two sessions of 1.75-hours each).

Small groups of up to 12 preferred but please discuss numbers with us. 

Why choose this skills course?

Clear and precise writing is essential for lawyers, to avoid misunderstandings and claims, to save time and costs relating to reviewing and writing documents, and to promote good relations and a good image. This course will help you to develop the necessary skills and to write with impact. It will also help you to meet or maintain the SRA competence standard on communicating effectively in writing.

What will you achieve?

You will be able to

    • spot and avoid both common and your own writing issues 
    • understand and start adopting guidelines for effective legal writing
    • brush up on some grammar and punctuation

 To further develop your skills, you will receive a set of best-practice guidelines with a checklist for use in the office.

What will we cover?

    • Writing for your reader and for your purpose
    • Planning and structuring using logical order of information
    • Ensuring completeness of content and language
    • Keeping it short and simple, including short sentences, active and passive voice, syntax, and word choice
    • Writing with impact
    • Punctuation
    • Proofreading for common grammar errors and spelling

What exercises will you do? 

You will complete exercises throughout, to draw out best-practice guidelines and to practise writing with the benefit of trainer monitoring and group feedback.
Exercises will include analysing and rewriting poorly drafted legal letters or report extracts.

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, and session workings 

Trainer

Stella Styllis