The focus of the written skills element of this training seminar is legal writing, with particular emphasis on contract drafting and legal terminology. The oral element is orientated towards conducting negotiations and making presentations.
The seminar is interactive, and involves practical exercises aimed at testing and developing skills in each area covered. These exercises take the form of pair and group work involving discussion, negotiation, drafting and document correction.
Delegates are also requested to send their own texts in advance of the seminar. These may include, for example, extracts from emails, contracts or memoranda, or any other document typically produced in the course of your daily work. The texts will then be reviewed and discussed by the seminar group as a whole and individual feedback will be provided by the trainer in respect of each text. The aims of the seminar are:
- to act as a refresher course in respect of the key areas of legal English usage;
- to provide tools for delegates to increase their effectiveness in legal drafting and legal communications;
- to assist each delegate individually by reviewing and providing feedback on texts sent by them to the trainer in advance of the seminar.
Each delegate will be provided with:
- a comprehensive seminar coursebook. This will be provided in paper format during the seminar. It draws on our expertise and years of experience of teaching legal English and contains exercises to be carried out during the seminar, together with an answer key and brief explanatory notes.
- a copy of Legal English (4th edition, Routledge 2015), a comprehensive guide to legal English written by the trainer, Rupert Haigh. This text forms the basis of most of our training work and will therefore be a useful reference work both during the seminar and after it has ended. The books will be handed out at the seminar.
Training content and objectives:
- Key Terminology. Common terms of art, easily confused words, foreign words used in legal English, abbreviations, problem words and phrases.
- Principles of Legal Writing Style. The principles applicable in achieving clarity in legal drafting, consistency in usage of terminology and effectiveness in achieving the desired legal effect of the document at hand.
- Avoiding Common Problems. Sexist language, ambiguity, constantly litigated words, jargon, nominalisations, over-defining.
- American & British English. Key terminology & writing convention differences.
- Contract Overview. Typical content & analysis (conditions, obligations, authorisations & limitations), key clauses, drafting principles, troubleshooting tips, contract redrafting exercises.
- Pronunciation & Presentations. How to pronounce difficult words and combinations in English & how to make an effective presentation.
- Contract Negotiation. Techniques, preparation, structure, content, language, ploys & team negotiation exercise.
- Legal Drafting. Draft heads of agreement based on negotiation outcome & convert heads of agreement into contract clauses.
- Legal Correspondence. How to write concisely and persuasively without loss of meaning or clarity.
- Delegates' text review & trainer feedback exercise.
- Final discussion, questions & take-home points.