Legal Writing Strategy Refresher—Summer Writing Had Me a Blast

MCLE Credits: 2.0
Ethics Credits Included: 0.0

Wednesday, May 11, 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. ET
  • Live Webcast
  • Live Telephone
Learn more about Virginia CLE webcast format
Learn more about Virginia CLE telephone format
MCLE Credit: 2.0 (Ethics: 0.0)
Live-Interactive Credit: 2.0 (all dates, all formats) Live Interactive MCLE Credit Symbol
Registration Fees: Webcast: $159
Telephone: $179

Information

Why Attend?

  • Learn basic writing strategies and grammar rules
  • Hear and dispel grammar myths that you have been following for years
  • Discover how to improve your legal writing and bring in summer with the gift of good legal writing

COURSE PURPOSE

Would you like an opportunity to study and improve your basic legal writing skills?

This lecture-style seminar will cover basic grammar and writing strategies and is designed to answer your questions. Topics discussed will include the following:

  • The language of the law
  • Noun/pronoun agreement
  • Avoiding misplaced modifiers
  • Avoiding ambiguity
  • Proper use of commas, colons, and semicolons
  • Sentence and paragraph construction
  • Active voice/passive voice
  • Subject/verb agreement
  • Subject/verb placement
  • Clarity and conciseness
  • Possessives and plurals
  • Avoiding legalese
  • Dispelling grammar myths and using contemporary legal writing strategies
  • Editing
  • Proofreading

Participants will be provided with a Basic Legal Writing Principles document and a Revision Checklist.

 

Discounts available for Virginia CLE webcast-telephone-live seminars Follow link to learn about the Virginia CLE Online Bundle with savings up to 45% Follow link to learn about coupons for lawyers in First Year in Virginia practice Follow link to learn about discount for New Virginia Lawyers (first 3 years) Follow link to learn about Government Employee discount Follow link to learn about Legal Aid discount

Follow link to learn about coupons for lawyers in First Year in Virginia practice Follow link to learn about coupons for lawyers in First Year in Virginia practice Follow link to learn about Government Employee discount Follow link to learn about Legal Aid discount

Registration Deadlines:
Webcast: 10 minutes prior to seminar. If you register for a webcast the day of the seminar, your e-mail receipt will include a link to launch the seminar and download the materials.
Telephone: Online registration ends at 11:59 p.m. the day preceding the seminar
Call (800) 979-8253 to register up to one hour prior to the seminar

Cancellation Policy: Cancellation/transfer requests will be honored until 5:00 p.m. the day preceding the seminar. You will, however, be charged $40 if you cancel or transfer your registration to a different seminar after the link to the materials has been e-mailed by Virginia CLE.

Full refunds or transfers are available up to two days after a webcast in the unlikely event that you experience technical difficulties.

MCLE Credit Caveat: The MCLE Board measures credits by the time you spend in attendance. If you enter a seminar late or leave it early, or both, you must reflect those adjustments accurately in the credits you report on your credit reporting form. A code will be given at the end of the seminar, which must be written on your MCLE form.


Can't Attend?
E-mail distance_ed@vacle.org to be notified when/if this program is made available as an online or USB seminar.
E-mail publications@vacle.org to be notified when/if this program's seminar materials are made available for sale.

Schedule

COURSE SCHEDULE (May 11) (Eastern Time)

2:00 Legal Writing Strategy Refresher—Summer Writing Had Me a Blast
4:00 Adjourn
  • Q&A will be handled via chat room for Webcast attendees.
  • Q&A will be handled via e-mail for telephone seminar attendees.

Faculty

FACULTY

Professor Heather E. Ridenour, American University Washington College of Law / Washington, DC
Professor David Spratt, American University Washington College of Law / Washington, DC

ABOUT THE SPEAKERS

Professor Heather E. Ridenour, American University Washington College of Law / Washington, DC

Professor Heather Ridenour joined the full-time faculty at American University, Washington College of Law in 2008, where she teaches Legal Rhetoric, Advanced Legal Methods, and Lawyering Fundamentals. Prior to joining the WCL faculty, she worked with the Academic Support Program at Texas Wesleyan University School of Law, now known as Texas A&M University School of Law, where she was Instructor of Academic Support and Legal Writing Specialist. Before taking that position, she had a probate and guardianship practice in Texas. From 2005 to 2007, she was the Guardianship Auditor at the Tarrant County Probate Court working under Judge Patrick Ferchill. She graduated cum laude from the Texas Wesleyan University School of Law in 2004, where she was Associate Editor and Articles Editor on the Texas Wesleyan Law Review. Professor Ridenour is a member of the Legal Writing Institute and frequently writes and speaks nationally and internationally on legal writing, Rhetoric and Shakespeare, academic support, and advocacy. Professor Ridenour was a member of the inaugural faculty of the annual Legal Writing Bootcamp cosponsored by the Virginia CLE, the Virginia State Bar Section on the Education of Lawyers, the Virginia Bar Association Law Practice Management Division, and the Washington College of Law Legal Rhetoric Program, now in its fifth year.

Professor David Spratt, American University Washington College of Law / Washington, DC

Professor David Spratt is in his sixteenth year as a full-time professor at American University, Washington College of Law, where he teaches Legal Rhetoric, Introduction to Advocacy, Family Law Litigation and Practice, and Contracts, and is the Acting Director of the Legal Rhetoric Program. Professor Spratt was the Civil Reporter of Decisions for the Virginia Court of Appeals for three years.

Born in Fairfax, Virginia, Professor Spratt received a B.A. degree in Government and Psychology from The College of William and Mary in 1991 and graduated summa cum laude from American University, Washington College of Law in 1994. In 2001, Professor Spratt was a founding partner of Schwartz & Spratt, PLC, a family law firm in Fairfax, Virginia. Previously, Professor Spratt worked as an associate at the Law Office of Betty A. Thompson, Ltd., in the area of family law. Prior to joining the WCL faculty in 2006, Professor Spratt taught Legal Writing and Research at the George Washington University School of Law, Legal Analysis and Writing at Concord School of Law, and Legal Methods at the Washington College of Law.

Professor Spratt is a past chair of the Virginia Bar Association, Domestic Relations Section and the Northern Virginia Regional Advisory Committee and recently served on the Virginia State Bar Task Force on Legal Writing. Professor Spratt regularly writes a column, “Writer’s Block,” in the Virginia Bar Association News Journal. He is a member of the Legal Writing Institute, created and is a member of the faculty of the annual Virginia Legal Writing Bootcamp, and frequently speaks on legal writing, family law, and advocacy. Professor Spratt is the 2021 recipient of the American University Washington College of Law’s Excellence in Teaching Award. His proudest accomplishment, however, is his fifteen-year-old son, Brandon.

Locations, Dates and Fees

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