Legal Advocacy Workshops
Training Lawyers to Speak Human

Group Workshops

Our group workshops offer concrete techniques for improving all forms of written communication. Each workshop includes an extensive editing session and we are glad to include submissions from participants in our editing exercises. We also bring our own questions to get the ball rolling, so workshops are lively and  entertaining.

We customize each workshop to fit our clients' needs and budget,  but here are examples of our most popular workshops: 

The Essentials of Written Communication
(for lawyers of all levels)

This workshop focuses on the power of the written word to promote action. We review examples of powerful writing, in a tour that runs from Charlotte's Web to Brown v. Board of Education, and show how lawyers squander that power in cumbersome legal writing. We go beyond simply stressing plain English and focus instead on the structure and substance of powerful writing. We explain the three essential rules for writing and show how these principles apply to all forms of written communication, from memoranda and briefs, to email and blogs.

The presentation includes several exercises and we are glad to include sample writing that participants submit in advance. We not only encourage questions, we make sure that the questions that everyone really wants to ask (but may be too shy to say out loud) get asked. Yes, that includes answers to the common usage questions that sometimes stump us, too.

The Art of Editing and Mentoring Junior Colleagues

(for mid-level and senior lawyers)

This workshop focuses on three areas:

  • how to present an assignment to ensure that junior colleagues return turnkey work
  • how to to rescue poor writing.
  • how to deliver comments constructively.
We illustrate techniques for "finding the gold,” restructuring paragraphs to “lead from the top,” and rewriting cluttered sentences in plain English. The workshop includes an editing exercise in which we edit a memorandum from a junior colleague and then discuss how to give effective, concrete feedback on an assignment. 

And we have lots to say on how to deliver feedback constructively. We have coached over a thousand lawyers in our one-to-one sessions and our clients universally find those sessions both perceptive and motivational. In this workshop, we share what we have learned in those coaching sessions, so that you can use your own editing sessions to train and motivate your team.

Your young colleagues will thank you forever for attending this workshop.

The Successful Summer

(A group workshop for summer associates)

This workshop shows summer associates how to make the most of their summer--and how to advocate for themselves--by writing clean, crisp assignments. We review the three principles for effective writing and show how to apply those principles to every type of writing, from email to appellate briefs. We show how to organize research to get to a deep understanding of the case law and discuss how to convey that "big picture" view of the research. We also stress the importance of developing efficient work practices that get things done.

In a key exercise, your associates will edit a legal memorandum for style, structure and substance and we'll share our editing suggestions. Again, we encourage questions throughout the presentation and we bring our own questions--good questions that we have been asked over the years-- to get the ball rolling.

Summer associates leave this workshop understanding the techniques for rigorous self-editing.