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Much of the writing done by lawyers today is both informal and digital; however, the focus of training in law school and in firms is largely on more formal writing, such as memos, briefs and contracts. The difference between writing memos, briefs and contracts and writing emails and texts is not just in the formality or the structure—it is in the very nature of the communications. Briefs and contracts are designed to be read and interpreted by courts; judges are the ultimate audience, and judges are trained to read these from a completely neutral perspective. The readers of informal communications such as emails and texts, on the other hand, will be far from neutral. Lawyers need to be able to understand both the medium they are using and the reader(s) they are addressing to achieve their goal. They need to be able bring their intended reader along to get what they need from the communication. These are skills that are not focused on in school, and as a result, there is a gap between what lawyers are taught to do and what they are expected to do.
Why you should participate
The Informal Legal Writing program bridges that gap. It provides lawyers with the skills they need to write and communicate effectively using digital technology. This suite of highly interactive, short modules is designed to teach lawyers the specific skills they need for the types of writing they do.
What You Will Learn
After completing the program, participants will be able to:
- Select a medium (e.g., email, text) for the message based on its advantages and disadvantages.
- Write a message that preserves legal privilege and confidentiality.
- Determine which pronouns, salutations, and level of formality to use depending on the delivery medium.
- Apply the guidelines for reviewing and editing a message before sending it.
- Choose the appropriate persuasion techniques to achieve the goal of the message.
- Select a strategy that will motivate readers to agree with requests or change their way of thinking.
- Construct a written argument that will engage the reader.
- Write an email subject line that will attract the reader’s attention.
- Structure a message to highlight key points that will persuade the reader.
- Assess a draft message to determine whether it achieves the goal of the communication.
- Edit a message to improve content and structure, simplicity and clarity, and style and tone.
This program is from PLI's Interactive Learning Center. It offers a high level of participant engagement and requires more program interactions than a traditional program.
Who Should Attend
This program is intended for attorneys who are interested in learning the skills they need to write and communicate effectively using digital technology.
- Informal Legal Writing Fundamentals (46:33 Minutes)
- Strategies for Persuasion (25:12 Minutes)
- Writing a Persuasive Message (17:09 Minutes)
- Digital Editing Fundamentals (17:06 Minutes)
Total runtime: 2:02:57