What’s it about?
Clients expect their law firms (and businesses expect in-house legal teams) to deliver high-quality advice and documentation on ever-tighter budgets. As a former litigation partner in a global firm, Cathy is well aware of the need to manage legal risk by drafting clearly, succinctly and unambiguously. This drafting course:
- equips lawyers to perform at a higher level, which should reduce supervision time, improve leverage and increase profitability
- reduces legal risk by clarifying areas that might otherwise lead to claims
- increases client satisfaction because documents are clearer and easier to read, thus reducing the risk of later contractual disputes
We developed this course by analysing the skills needed to be an excellent legal drafter. We give delegates the tools to help them to draft clear, user-friendly and unambiguous legal agreements that achieve their clients’ objectives.
The course addresses all stages of the drafting process from the initial approach through improving existing drafting, getting the most out of precedents, drafting from scratch and reducing risk by drafting flexibly.
Who should attend?
You should attend if you:
- are a lawyer or otherwise regularly involved in drafting agreements
- want to take a fresh look at your legal drafting
- hope to avoid pitfalls and confusion in the way you draft
What does it cover?
The course is flexible in length and scope. The full course is four three-hour modules, ideally attended in order, but we can tailor it to your organisation’s needs. Modules 1 and 3 are most suitable for junior lawyers. Modules 2 and 4 are suitable for all. We like, where possible, to draw from your precedents or standard documents, and to reinforce your house style. We use exercises throughout, taken from real agreements, to stretch delegates and to embed the learning.
Module 1 – Taking the right approach
- Discussion of the lawyer’s role and the importance of asking the right questions
- Identifying and allocating risks
- Structure of a typical agreement
- The dangers of poor drafting – how the court might interpret your drafting
Module 2 – User-friendly drafting
- What does effective legal drafting look like?
- Six techniques for producing clear, user-friendly drafting
- Improving poor drafting
Module 3 – Drafting from scratch using precedents
- A four-stage approach to drafting from scratch
- Drafting key clauses
- How to get the most out of precedents and templates
Module 4 – “White-water drafting”
- Danger areas where drafting is particularly susceptible to disputes
- Refresher on “boilerplate” language clarifying the legal meaning (based on case law or statute) of many standard words and phrases
What do others say about the course?
“Cathy is a spectacular lecturer and a fantastic teacher. Her exercises are both engaging and thought-provoking. I am very grateful to have attended her drafting sessions as it has exposed me to new tools and ways of looking at language. Cathy’s tips are insightful and relevant, and she often employs memorable and useful examples. Highly recommended.” (Financial services associate, global firm)
“I undertook Cathy’s effective legal drafting course as part of my law firm’s development programme for associates and trainees. Cathy is a great communicator and has put together a fantastic, interactive and engaging course. The materials were very well pitched and Cathy’s delivery was excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed attending each session and left having learnt something new. I would strongly recommend Cathy’s effective legal drafting course to other associates and trainees.” (Corporate associate, global firm).
“This was an exceptional course, which improved my legal drafting skills and understanding of drafting issues!” (Associate, global firm)
“This course perfectly matched the theory of legal drafting with practical exercises, which is key when drafting. Cathy is an excellent trainer and has a lovely delivery style. I couldn’t recommend this course more to any lawyer in the firm.” (Associate, global firm)
“As an ex-partner in a City law firm, Cathy is fantastic. Highly recommended and enjoyable …” (Associate, City firm)
“Cathy is a great communicator and has put together a fantastic, interactive and engaging course. The materials were very well pitched and Cathy’s delivery was excellent. I thoroughly enjoyed attending each session and left having learnt something new. I would strongly recommend Cathy’s effective legal drafting course to other associates and trainees.” (Associate, global firm)
“There is nothing better than interactive, targeted learning. This ticked all the boxes and is one of the best training sessions I have been to since I joined the firm. More please.” (Financial services lawyer, London office of a US firm)
“Cathy was excellent, the sessions and materials were good and the training was aimed relatively high so it was challenging throughout.” (Associate, international firm)
“It was a fabulous session – informative and fun!” (Financial services lawyer, London office of a US firm)
“Fantastic – one of the best training sessions I have attended yet.”(Trainee, US firm)
“A really good session, thoroughly enjoyable, learnt lots of new things and held my attention throughout.” (Banking associate, US firm)