Legal Writing Course

Legal Writing Course

Overview

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 paramount 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. 

Course includes

  • 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.

Course contents

Legal Writing Course Lesson 1

The general principles of plain English writing.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 2

How to keep your sentences short and avoid old-fashioned legalese.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 3

How to write using the active voice - General principles.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 4

How to use bullet points in legal writing.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 5

How to write with verbs rather than nouns for precision in your legal messages.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 6

How to improve accuracy by using precise vocabulary.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 7

How to avoid using multiple negatives by writing instructions in the positive form.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 8

The five situations when you should use the passive voice.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 9

How to use parallel grammatical structures to assist the reader to understand the message Pt 1.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 10

How to use parallel grammatical structures to assist the reader to understand the message Pt. 2.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 11

How and when to use definite, indefinite and zero articles Pt. 1.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 12

How and when to use definite, indefinite and zero articles Pt. 2.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 13

Using punctuation to change the meaning of the words in a sentence.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 14

How to write restrictive and non-restrictive adjectival clauses by adding or removing a comma.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 15

Cohesive writing - how to construct your paragraphs so that the ideas flow from one sentence to the next.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 16

The principles of persuasive writing. How to persuade the reader/judge to give you what you want.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 17

The most effective structure of a persuasive text.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 18

How to create greater impact by being specific with your vocabulary.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 19

How to use the active voice to shorten sentences and improve understanding - a detailed examination of its use.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 20

The use of Latin in legal writing - some essential words and phrases.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 21

How to avoid writing with cliches and legal jargon.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 22

How to type your writing and give it greater impact by avoiding long wordy expressions.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 23

How to shorten your sentences by avoiding unnecessary words and duplication of information.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 24

The meaning and use of the words hereby, thereby and whereby.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 25

How to avoid the use of provisos - phrases beginning with the words 'provided that...'.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 26

Do not overuse the verbs to be and to have.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 27

How to use and avoid legal prepositions part 1 - Frequently used legal prepositions.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 28

How to use and avoid legal prepositions part 2 - Frequently used prepositional phrases.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 29

How to use and avoid legal prepositions part 3 - Five techniques to avoid using prepositions.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 30

How to emphasise a particular piece of information in a sentence.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 31

How to emphasise a particular piece of information in a paragraph.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 32

How to write without using the ambiguous word 'shall' in your legal writing and documents.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 33

Left-right writing technique – using the inductive writing structure to avoid confusion.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 34

How to organise the information in a paragraph.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 35

The seven most commonly used paragraph structures and which to choose to deliver different types of information.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 36

How to use themes and rhemes in the sentences and in a paragraph for the ideas to flow sentence to the next.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 37

Making your writing easier to follow by avoiding changing the verb tenses abruptly.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 38

How to create paragraph unity - choose just one topic per paragraph.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 39

Do not unbalance the paragraph by the repeated overuse of a particular word - when to use synonyms.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 40

How to short sentences and edit paragraphs for greater impact.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 41

11 words to cut from your legal writing.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 42

Power words to use in your legal writing 1. Because.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 43

Power words to use in your legal writing 2. Although.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 44

Power words to use in your legal writing 3. But.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 45

Persuasive writing – adding some spice and dramatic flourish, Part 1.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 46

Persuasive writing – adding some spice and dramatic flourish, Part 2.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 47

How to use the power of suspense in litigation and arbitration writing, Part 1.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 48

How to use the power of suspense in litigation and arbitration writing, Part 2.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 49

How to use strong verbs, nouns and adjectives to create impact.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 50

How to improve your present legal writing style - Six essential points for effective legal writing.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 51

Phrasal verbs - what they are and how to use them in legal writing.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 52

Letter writing for specific purposes - Letters of complaint.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 53

Letter writing for specific purposes - Letters of apology.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 54

Letter writing for specific purposes - Letters before action.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 55

Litigation and arbitration texts, Part 1. – How to write so that judges will like you.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 56

Litigation and arbitration texts, Part 2. – How to build credibility with the court and arbitrators.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 57

Litigation and arbitration texts, Part 3. – How to Use brackets to best explain your case citations.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 58

Five steps towards persuasive legal writing.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 59

General rules of vocabulary, sentence and paragraph length.

Legal Writing Course Lesson 60

60 tips for effective legal writing.

Course terminology

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.

Course duration

The course is delivered over an 8 week period by 15 lessons of 60 minutes each, plus a further 10 hours of inter-active home exercises. There is a test at the end of the 15th lesson to assess writing ability.

Materials for students

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

Course prices

Course type Video lessons with a lawyer Homework Video lessons one-to-one with a lawyer Course price

Private

Live one-to-one classes
15 private lessons/60 min Twice/week following each class Yes, 15 private lessons/60 minutes each

$ 800

Group

Live Broadcasts+Homework+ Conversation
15 lessons/60 min Twice/week following each class No, group lessons

$ 350

Pre-recorded

Pre-recorded webinars
15 lessons/60 min Add-on option for US$ 80.00 No

$ 240

Separate lesson

Pre-recorded lessons
15 lessons/60 min Add-on option for US$ 80.00 No

$ 30 each

Free trial lesson

Pre-recorded lessons
1 lesson/60 min No No

Free