Step-by Step Guide to Clearer Drafting

Sep 18, 2014 5:30pm – 

Susan Clarke
Partner, Director of Professional Development
Gowling La eur Henderson LLP

Norma Priday
Solicitor
Toronto Transit Commission

Legalese is an overformal writing style that some believe commands respect and elevates their writing. In truth, legalese hinders comprehension, promotes ambiguity and can make your writing stiff and archaic. More importantly it can alienate your non-lawyer audience. By drafting in plain language, you can avoid unnecessary ambiguity and communicate more effectively with your business clients.

  • How to avoid legalese: Replace legal ‘flavouring’ with plain words
  • Tips for writing to communicate your meaning
  • Practice writing for your internal client by completing sample writing exercises

Susan Clarke has developed and taught plain language legal writing courses for diverse groups, including law firms, government departments and agencies (provincial and federal), and the LSUC.

Norma Priday has taught for the LSUC, and has taught university in China. As Solicitor for the TTC, her specialties are writing and court work.