Drafting in clear English

Course information

People often criticise lawyers for insisting on jargon and using six words when one will do – and for not explaining things clearly.  When you’re writing for clients, it’s important to put their needs first. They are busy people who want to understand your advice and information the first time they read it; they don’t want to struggle with legal terms, waffle and long complex sentences.

In this highly practical course, a professional writer will show you how to achieve clarity in writing for clients, particularly those who are not legal experts. It covers the principles and practice of plain English, the importance of a reader-focused style, the fundamentals of planning, and the power of language.

After this course, you will:

  • Understand how to write in clear, concise English
  • Understand how to achieve a reader-focused style and structure
  • Be able to write quickly and effectively for a non-legal audience
  • Understand how to make documents easier to read and navigate

Who should attend?

This course is for anyone who wants to communicate effectively on legal topics with clients. We’ve delivered it to individuals and small groups of fee earners and trainees in leading legal firms. We’ve also presented it to legal teams in insurance companies and public sector agencies.

What’s covered in this course

1

Best practice in clear legal drafting

  • What is plain English and what are the benefits?
  • Identify best practice in clear legal writing
  • Put yourself in your clients’ shoes
  • Make sure you meet the client’s needs – answering and anticipating questions
2

Plan in 5 steps

  • Identify your readers and purpose
  • Create an effective objective
  • Build an outline structure
  • Make it accessible and easy to navigate
  • Edit your plan
3

Avoid professional pitfalls

  • How to write plain professional English
  • How to deal with legal jargon
  • Keep sentences short and focused
  • Use verbs instead of abstract nouns
  • Avoid Latin and unusual vocabulary
For a more detailed course outline, please get in touch.

Course delivery options ​

Live online training

Choose a practical interactive online session. For more practice, send in a sample of your writing that will be edited by your trainer, and returned with corrections and comments.

Tailored in-house courses

Get the training you need with customised onsite training for your teams, based on your own minutes. One-day or half-day courses for small groups.

Bespoke coaching – online

One-to-one sessions focus on your challenges and objectives. Practical exercises are based on your own client communications.

Get expert tips for your business writing – in our free fact-sheets

Want a refresher on punctuation? Or a quick guide to plain English? What about tips on writing for your website? Or useful phrases for minutes? Our fact-sheets are full of information that will help you to write clear, correct English.

Other courses you might find interesting:

We’ve delivered this course to lawyers in leading firms, including

Testimonials

No question is too big or small – we’re happy to help!

By clicking 'Send Message', you agree to our terms and privacy policy.

Please get in touch - We're happy to help

By clicking 'Send Message', you agree to our terms and privacy policy.

Please get in touch - We're happy to help

By clicking 'Send Message', you agree to our terms and privacy policy.

Please get in touch - We're happy to help

By clicking 'Send Message', you agree to our terms and privacy policy.

Get FREE fact-sheets

Want expert tips and tools to improve your writing?

  • Quick Guide to Plain English
  • Quick Punctuation Guide
  • Quick Grammar Guide
  • Ten Common Errors
  • Commonly Confused Words
  • Customer Communications with Impact
  • Writing for the Web
  • Web Accessibility
  • Editing for Results
  • Writing & Editing Checklist
  • Minutes – Useful Phrases

By clicking 'Send Message', you agree to our terms and privacy policy.