Continuing Legal Education

Mastering Legal Writing

June 21-23, 2017 | 18 CLE credits pending

In today's legal market, one of the most valued skills is the ability to write clearly, concisely, and correctly. Clients, senior partners, and judges all appreciate lawyers who can write well.


This course is spread over three days with interactive sessions. Each day will feature a series of short lectures followed by exercises that allow participants to apply the skills just taught. In addition, if you choose to do so, you will have the opportunity to revise and edit one of your own pieces of writing.

For more information please contact Professor Laurel Oates.


Day 1 - June 21, 2017

Focus will be on "big picture" issues: audience and purpose and large- and small-scale organization.

8:30 a.m. Sign-in and coffee
9:00 a.m. First Impressions and Audience and Purpose
10:30 a.m. BREAK
10:45 a.m. Large-Scale Organization
12:15 p.m. LUNCH
1:15 p.m. Large-Scale Organization
2:45 p.m. BREAK
3:00 p.m. Small-Scale Organization
4:30 p.m. ADJOURN

Day 2 - June 22, 2017

Day 2 will focus on smaller issues. The day will start by talking about problem sentences: the effective use of the active and passive voice; and techniques for managing longer sentences. After lunch, we will talk about grammar and try some strategies for writing more concisely.

8:30 a.m. Sign-in and coffee
9:00 a.m. Problem Sentences
10:30 a.m. BREAK
10:45 a.m. Active Voice; Passive Voice; Managing Longer Sentences
12:15 p.m. LUNCH
1:15 p.m. Grammar
2:45 p.m. BREAK
3:00 p.m. Concision
4:30 p.m. ADJOURN

Day 3 - June 23, 2017

On the last day we will bring everything together. The day will start by answering the questions about punctuation that you have always wanted to ask but did not know whom to ask. During the process we will debunk some of the myths about writing. Why did your third grade teacher tell you that you should never start a sentence with "because"? Finally we will spend time on techniques for writing persuasively and on ways in which you can develop your own writing style. At the end of this class you will receive a certificate of accomplishment.

8:30 a.m. Sign-in and coffee
9:00 a.m. Punctuation
10:30 a.m. BREAK
10:45 a.m. Putting it all together
12:15 p.m. LUNCH
1:15 p.m. Writing Persuasively
2:45 p.m. BREAK
3:00 p.m. Topics to be determined by participants
4:30 p.m. Evaluations and Adjourn


This summer's course is being taught by Professor Laurel Currie Oates, one of the founders of Seattle University's nationally ranked legal writing program. Professor Oates has taught legal writing for more than 30 years and is the co-author of five books on Legal Writing.





This program is available for in-person participation only.

General Registration - $995.00

Seattle University School of Law Alumni - $945.00