Legal Writing Workshops

The Legal Writing Certificate Program offers students an array of writing workshops on various topics in legal writing. These workshops are taught by legal writing staff and other faculty members, and are administered by the Legal Writing and Appellate Advocacy Program. Completion of six of these workshops prior to graduation qualifies a student for a certificate. Students need not complete all six in a single semester or year. Workshops will be offered each year, though they may vary in content.

Enrollment in each workshop is limited. Students may reserve spots on a first-come, first-served basis. See below for details.

How to Sign Up

Initial date offerings are below, but additional workshops and additional dates and times may be added, so check the website or with the Legal Writing Program office for updates.

To sign up for any number of workshops, please email the Legal Writing office at fywp@bu.edu with the title of the workshop(s) you want to attend and the date of the workshop(s). Workshops have limited enrollment; you must sign up to attend.

If you sign up but are unable to attend as scheduled: Please email fywp@bu.edu so that we can give your spot to a student from the waitlist.

If a workshop is full: If you attempt to sign up for a workshop that is full, we will let you know and place you on the waitlist for that workshop. Should a spot open up, we will notify you.

If you are interested in any of the workshops but cannot attend on the scheduled date/time: Please email fywp@bu.edu. If interest in a given workshop is high, we will schedule additional sessions later in the semester.

Award of Certificate

Attendance will be taken at each workshop, and recorded with the Legal Writing and Appellate Advocacy Program office. Each student should also keep track of how many workshops he or she has completed. Once you have completed attendance at six or more workshops, you should contact the Legal Writing office (fywp@bu.edu) to request your certificate. Certificates will be issued once we have verified that you have completed six or more workshops.

Writing Certificate Workshops Fall 2016

Wednesday September 28 – Scholarly Writing Workshop
Prof. Wendy Gordon
1:00-2:00 p.m.
Room 419
This workshop will address the conventions of scholarly writing. Students who are writing for a journal, a competition, or a seminar will benefit from this workshop.

Wednesday October 5 – Mapping
Instructor Adrienne Smith
1:00-2:00 p.m.
Room 419
Learn the basics of Mind-Mapping, a non-linear method of visually organizing information that will help you research, brainstorm, and analyze the law. This tool will aid you throughout the entire process of writing legal memos, briefs and papers.

Wednesday, October 19 – Persuasive Writing : Constructing Your Argument
Instructor Adrienne Smith
1:00-2:00 p.m.
Room 419
Students often have difficulty transitioning from the office memo model to a persuasive argument. This workshop will consider drafting an argument in a persuasive document, focusing on the CLAC model of persuasive writing.

Wednesday, October 26 – Persuasive Writing : Presenting the facts in a Persuasive Manner
Instructor Holly Caldwell
1:00-2:00 p.m.
Room 419
Arguments are often won or lost based on the presentation of the facts. This workshop will cover how to concisely present the facts in a manner favorable to your argument

Monday, October 31 – Punctuation and Grammar Overview
Jennifer McCloskey
1:00-2:00 p.m.
Room 419
This review of grammar rules and punctuation will include exercises designed to help students master the basics of proper grammar and punctuation.

**RESCHEDULED** – Thursday, November 10 – Drafting a Complaint
Professor Steve Donweber
1:00-2:00 p.m.
Room 419
New attorneys often face the task of drafting a complaint. This workshop will cover the basics of drafting a persuasive complaint.

Monday, November 7 –Simplify Your Writing: The Three P’s: Pronouns, Passive and Prepositions
Prof. Robert Volk
1:00-2:00 p.m.
Room 419
Overuse of pronouns can make your writing ambiguous, while overuse of prepositions can lead to overly complex sentences. The passive voice can add ambiguity, and detracts from the authority of your writing. In this workshop, students will work on a number of short exercises designed to help students to avoid these writing pitfalls.

Wednesday, November 9 – Persuasive Writing : Developing a Theory of the Case and Drafting an Effective Motion
Prof. Mary Connaughton
1:00-2:00 p.m.
Room 419
This workshop will cover the basics of drafting motions and other persuasive documents, focusing on developing a concise theory of the case and presenting your case in the most favorable light possible.

Monday, November 14 – Citation Format: Mastering the Bluebook
Jennifer McCloskey
1:00-2:00 p.m.
Room 419
Many students have trouble mastering proper citation form. This workshop will help familiarize students with the basic rules of citation that every law student ought to know. Students will work on a number of exercises designed to improve their Bluebook literacy.

Wednesday, November 16 – Client Communication
Professor Connie Browne
1:00-2:00 p.m.
Room 419
Explaining legal concepts to non-lawyers can be difficult. This workshop will focus on drafting client letters and emails without using “legalese.”