Effective Legal Writing

This workshop refreshes important elements of legal writing and presents new material not taught in law school. We analyze legal writing at its best and worst and derive principles for strong, clear documents. The content is useful even for strong writers. More.

The workshop can vary from a half-day to two-days long—we interview each client and customize based on their needs. Content varies depending on practice type, but commonly includes:

  • focusing on your audience and purpose
  • writing more concisely
  • using clear, reader-friendly language
  • adapting for different audiences
  • organizing documents efficiently
  • writing effective emails
  • learning a new way to draft faster with better results
  • using appropriate tone
  • writing persuasively
  • using verbs effectively, including active voice
  • formatting for readability
  • using tables, graphs, and visuals persuasively
  • giving and receiving constructive peer feedback

It can also include:

  • client-friendly, efficient memos
  • robust, persuasive briefs
  • shorter, clearer contracts

Individualized written feedback for participants is available in both one- or two-day workshops. We give this feedback based on a four- to six-page writing sample writers send before the workshop.

Legal support staff
We also offer an Effective Legal Communications workshop tailored for legal support staff.

Workshops for:

government-regulatorsGovernment and regulators

From participants:

Very useful overall—frankly, far better than expected. Perhaps the best aspect was the practical, thoughtful and tailored approach.

Presentation was succinct and organized. The content was relevant to our own practice. The materials were well put together.

I was slightly skeptical going in but came away convinced it was worth 1.5 days of my time.

Very practical and tailored to our group. The one-on-one [feedback] is excellent.

The practice [redrafting] was particularly helpful. I was also impressed by the amount of content.

I would definitely recommend [this] for other groups within our organization and externally.

Effective Legal Writing Refresher

This half-day workshop follows up with writers who have been through Effective Legal Writing. It reinforces, deepens, and applies concepts to real documents. More.

Organizations use this half-day practical workshop to follow up and deepen the content in the Effective Legal Writing workshop. This is a working session in which attendees redraft key internal documents to refresh and apply skills learned in our core workshop. The workshop is structured to cover the common writing and editing problems writers run across in their work. The workshop will:

  • reinforce and apply skills you learned in the core workshop
  • fill in gaps from the first workshop
  • resolve questions that came up after the core workshop


From participants:

Useful and informative. Definitely recommend the course.

Great to look back and see where I improved and where I still need improvement.

I thought I didn’t need this course. I am happy to admit I was wrong.

Document-specific workshops

We also deliver workshops on specific types of legal writing, including advocacy, decision writing, and legal opinions. We customize curriculum based on your documents and goals. Workshop length varies depending on your needs. More.

These workshops include:

  • written advocacy
  • legal opinions
  • briefing notes for legal decision makers


From participants:

This was a useful presentation for any litigator – including those with many years of experience.

I appreciated the examples drawn from our area of expertise. I plan to use many of the tips and methods immediately.

Excellent review of problems and deficiencies in written work. Brought out many concepts that I had not previously thought about.

Very helpful content, especially on the process of writing.

Before-and-after writing samples were useful illustrations.

I found it very helpful. I now look forward to my next writing project.

It [the workshop] exceeded my expectations. Would recommend to others.

© Wordsmith Associates Communications Consultants Inc.