Plain Language Seminars

Our plain language seminars set out the principles of clear, effective communication, for lawyers and non-lawyers. We tailor our seminars to the needs of the particular client.

We can design seminars for large and small groups, for one hour, or several hours, or for a whole day.

Typical seminar content (for lawyers)

Background

Why is legal language so complex?
Plain legal language: What is it?

Philosophy of plain legal language

  • It is possible to express complex legal concepts in plain language
  • Plain language is legally effective and precise
  • Plain language is more efficient for lawyers and clients
  • Readers prefer plain language
  • Judges prefer plain language.

Basic principles

  • Importance of organisation and structure
  • Writing for the reader, not the writer
  • Writing to inform, not to impress
  • Sentence length
  • Verbs versus nouns
  • Active versus passive
  • Word-strings
  • "Must" versus "shall"
  • Punctuation
  • Layout and design
  • Maps and diagrams
  • Notes, examples, and simplified outlines
  • What to do with terms of art?
  • Tone.