Efficient, Effective and Powerful Legal Writing

Originally held on Thursday, December 2, 2021 | 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm

Program Instructor:
Dianne Rosky
Founder & Principal, Rosky Legal Education LLC

  • In this two-hour workshop, lawyers learn practical strategies for drafting effective, clear emails and memos. Through examples and exercises, participants learn concrete strategies for eliminating the most common weaknesses in legal writing, including ineffective organization, weak paragraph structure, and convoluted sentences.

    Participants will learn strategies for:

    • drafting effective introductions
    • providing useful roadmaps
    • writing clear, concrete sentences
    • avoiding common errors in grammar and usage

    This workshop emphasizes general legal-writing skills, and examples and exercises are drawn from both litigation and transactional practice. Participants leave the program with specific, easy-to-implement strategies for improving their everyday legal writing. Materials include a tip sheet summarizing the issues covered.

    Program Fee:
    $149 for Members | $249 for Nonmembers

    Members who are Recent Law Graduates, Newly Admitted Lawyers (admitted for the first time in any state or country 2019-2021), In-House/Corporate Counsel, Judges, and attorney members who practice within the Government, Academic or Not-for-Profit sectors attend this program for free.

  • 6:00 pm – 6:30 pm I. Document organization
    • Provide an effective introduction:
    o Link to the reader.
    o Start with your main point.
    o Provide a roadmap.
    • Follow through with headings and subheadings.

    6:30 pm – 7:00 pm II. Paragraph construction
    • Stick to the basics:
    o Limit each paragraph to one point.
    o State the point in a topic sentence.
    o Use transitions to link paragraphs.
    o Use paragraph construction to reinforce IRAC structure.
    • Provide mini-roadmaps.
    • Use authority effectively:
    o Lead in to block quotations.
    o Integrate shorter quotes seamlessly.

    7:00 pm – 7:30 pm III. Sentence structure
    • Be concise and concrete.
    o Avoid “throat clearers.”
    o Use specific subjects.
    o Use strong verbs.
     Prefer active voice, absent a specific reason.
     Avoid nominalizations: uncover hidden verbs.
    • Be clear.
    o Place modifiers carefully.
     Place modifier close to word modified.
     Don’t split subject, verb and object with long modifier.
    • Be polished.
    o Use parallel form.

    7:30 pm – 8:00 pm IV. Word choice
    • Avoid compound constructions.
    • Avoid lazy adverbs and adjectives.
    • Avoid elegant variation.
    • Make referents clear.

  • New York: 2.0 Skills
    New Jersey: 2.0 General
    California: 1.5 General
    Pennsylvania: 1.5 General
    Connecticut: Available to Licensed Attorneys

    Please Note: Newly admitted NY attorneys cannot fulfill ethics or skills credits through our on-demand programs under OCA rules. For more information on this, please see http://www.nycourts.gov/attorneys/cle/changes_for_2016.shtml.

  • Sponsorship Opportunities are Available! Please Contact:
    Angie Avila, Manager, Membership Outreach and Sponsorships | (212) 382-6608 | aavila@nycbar.org