Legal Writing Course

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May 16, 2016


A lawyer’s ability to write clearly and correctly will be the basis upon which other lawyers, and potential clients, will assess the lawyer's competence. This may not be fair, or accurate, but it is a fact that younger lawyers, in particular, must master accurate writing in legal English in order to progress their careers. You need every document you write to show that you are a professional, clearheaded, knowledgeable and accurate lawyer - just the type that they want to deal with.

The British Legal Centre’s - Legal Writing Course is a 15-unit, inter-active, online course teaching the essential skills of drafting clear and precise letters, documents and contracts. These include the basic skills of structuring and formatting texts, using correct grammar and style, together with general assistance to make all your writing clear, concise and easy to understand.

All the differing requirements of  letters and legal documents are dealt with, stressing the common rule of being easily understood. The course presents key written communication skills in a series of lessons, following detailed reading and listening passages. The course exercises involve the production of typical work-place documents required in daily work situations. There is a heavy emphasis on the production of written material by the students to test and expand their legal drafting ability. The trainers provide detailed feedback on the home tasks and all are either practicing British lawyers, working in the area of Commercial and Contract Law or experienced teachers of Law and Legal English.


  • Letter writing practice
  • Contract Drafting practice
  • General Document drafting practice
  • Instruction on structure style layout and content
  • Inter-active writing exercises
  • Exercises to practice brevity and conciseness and accuracy
  • Grammar Exercises
  • the practical language of contract formation
  • legal vocabulary
  • glossary with definitions
  • course certificate upon successful completion

The essential basic vocabulary and phrases which are most often used in legal documents, providing explanations of the meaning and use of archaic legal English, including Latin and Norman French.


  1. Structure layout and style (i) structuring letters and contracts. The correct layout and formatting of letters and legal documents.
  2. Structure layout and style (ii) the correct forms of business salutation and closure in letters and the use of pre-ambles in contracts and other documentation. Using the correct tone in correspondence
  3. Structure layout and style (iii) the correct order of content, report writing, correct use of legalese in documents
  4. Brevity and accuracy – Ellipsis, punctuation, sentence length, precision in descriptions
  5. Grammar (i) – Possessive pronouns and reported speech
  6. Grammar (ii) - continuity, countable nouns, verb tenses
  7. Grammar (iii) - complex verb tenses, conditionals
  8. letter  writing - letters of complaint, letters of apology - purpose of these letters and their contents
  9. contract drafting (i) – contents, structure, essentials, accuracy
  10. contract drafting (ii) – preambles, warranties, boilerplate clauses
  11. General legal documentation – content, structure, layout
  12. Legalese - common and useful Latin and Norman French words, phrases and meaning
  13. Style and language - use of the active voice, strong verbs, strong adjectives. Direct sentences, making the meaning clear
  14. Language to avoid – idioms, ‘isms', shall, and/or, - how to précis.
  15. Report writing – Structure, layout,, tone, addendums, appendices


The course covers essential basic vocabulary and phrases which are most often used in legal documents such as contracts and other agreements. It provides explanations of the meaning and use of archaic legal English, including Latin and Norman French.


The course is delivered over an 8 week period by 15 lessons of 45 minutes each, plus a further 15 hours of inter-active home exercises. There is a test at the end of the 8th lesson to assess writing ability.


On-line exercises.
On-line glossary of vocabulary and phrases.
Access to the archive of past lessons to assist participants review progress and revise.