Introduction to Legal English: Writing

LETRA Legal Training

Foundational knowledge necessary to confidently draft legal documents in English

Método:
Virtual
Duración:
12 h aprox
¿Qué aprenderás?

¿Qué aprenderás en este curso?

Use plain legal English to convey thoughts and make persuasive arguments

Use the IRAC method for legal reading and writing

Draft an IRAC memorandum

Submit billable hours in clear and concise English

Draft clear emails to clients, supervisors and other lawyers

Contenidos

MODULE 1: Before writing: how to read legal English

MODULE 2: Planning

MODULE 3: Writing in Plain English (1)

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MODULE 1: Before writing: how to read legal English

Objectives

  • Understand that every legal matter can be looked at as Issue, Rule, Analysis, Conclusion (IRAC)
  • Be able to use the color method for identifying IRAC
  • Be able to apply IRAC when reading legal memos and cases
  • Be able to apply IRAC to all reading (including emails, directions from superiors, internal discussions)

MODULE 2: Planning

Objectives

  • Be able to determine a logical sequence
  • Understand how to present facts in chronological order
  • Understand how to “chunk” material
  • Be able to divide thoughts into sections and subsections
  • Understand how to outline a document

MODULE 3: Writing in Plain English (1)

Objectives

- Understand and apply the following rules of English writing:

  • Do not write in the first person
  • Avoid multiple negatives
  • Avoid contractions
  • Avoid acronyms
  • Avoid rhetorical questions
  • Refer to people and companies by name

- Understand the importance of simple English – writing as you speak

MODULE 4: Writing in Plain English (2)

MODULE 5: Keeping it simple

MODULE 6: Sentences to paragraphs

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MODULE 4: Writing in Plain English (2)

Objectives

  • Be able to use strong, precise verbs
  • Know how to turn -ion words into verbs
  • Recognize and apply the active voice over passive
  • Understand how to avoid legalese
  • Recognize the importance of not using shall
  • Understand how to use numerals, not words (and never numeral and word)
  • Understand how to correctly write dates

MODULE 5: Keeping it simple

Objectives

  • Recognize the importance of writing in short sentences
  • Be able to recognize and omit needless words
  • Understand how to keep the subject, verb and object together
  • Know how to end sentences emphatically
  • Be able to simplify phrases

MODULE 6: Sentences to paragraphs

Objectives

  • Be able to use a topic sentence to introduce each paragraph
  • Be able to keep paragraphs simple
  • Understand how to place a bridge between paragraphs
  • Be able to build in signposts

MODULE 7: Introduction to the IRAC Style of Writing

MODULE 8: Identifying the issue and the Rule

MODULE 9: Analysis and Conclusion

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MODULE 7: Introduction to the IRAC Style of Writing

Objectives

  • Understand what IRAC is
  • Recognize the importance of order
  • Understand how to draft informative headings
  • Understand the need to keep it relevant: have a point and prove it

MODULE 8: Identifying the issue and the Rule

Objectives

  • Understand that knowing the issue means knowing your conclusion
  • Be able to discuss legal issues individually, in a logical order
  • Be able to identify and summarize relevant laws
  • Understand how to link facts to the rule

MODULE 9: Analysis and Conclusion

Objectives

  • Be able to summarize and clearly present the law when writing for expository purposes
  • Be able to clearly present the facts to tell a compelling story when writing for persuasive purposes
  • Be able to address counterarguments without contradicting the conclusion
  • Be able to state the conclusion in precise terms

MODULE 10: Putting together a complete document

MODULE 11: Citations and Editing  

MODULE 12: Billing and Drafting Emails

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MODULE 10: Putting together a complete document

Objectives

  • Understand how to use an introduction paragraph to present a map of the document
  • Understand how formatting helps guide the reader
  • Understand the elements of a complete IRAC memorandum
  • Understand the importance of using attention-getters to highlight ideas

MODULE 11: Citations and Editing  

Objectives

  • Understand how to use quotes
  • Be able to use Bluebook citations
  • Know the importance of limiting quotations in the text of a document
  • Recognize the key aspects of a document to focus on when editing

MODULE 12: Billing and Drafting Emails

Objectives

  • Be able to write concise, professional emails in English
  • Be able to utilize the correct verb form and other language to clearly enter billable hours

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