Legal Usage for Virtuoso Legal Writers

Legal Usage for Virtuoso Legal Writers

Legal Usage for Virtuoso Legal Writers - Self-Paced Online Seminars - LawProse

Most language questions that occur to writers and speakers fall under the rubric of usage, which encompasses tough questions of word choice, grammar, punctuation, and even pronunciation. Whenever an otherwise competent user of a given language would pause to consider the proper selection—of word, construction, punctuation mark, or sound—a usage issue has arisen. Part of being a literate speaker or writer is knowing how to handle common language issues when they arise and how to resolve the less familiar ones by resorting to authoritative guides.

For most of the 20th century, the leading authorities were Fowler and Partridge for British English; and Bernstein and Follett for American English. (See the bibliography for full citations.) Today the leading authorities are widely considered to be my own Garner’s Modern English Usage and The Chicago Manual of Style. Peculiarly for legal contexts are Garner’s Dictionary Modern Legal UsageThe Texas Law Review Manual of Usage and Style, and The Redbook: A Manual on Legal Style. It’s fair to say that 99% of all editorial questions you might have will be fully discussed in those guides.

It can be enjoyable, in fact, to check out these guides whenever your linguistic suspicions have been aroused. What’s the best pronunciation of certiorari? Is it proper to say that someone pleaded innocent? And is the past tense of plead preferably pleaded or pled? Or perhaps plead (rhyming with red), as in read–read? And are preferable and comparable accented on the first or the second syllable? And is it all right to begin a sentence with and? And is all right not preferably spelled today as one word: alright? (No.) And when does a period go inside an end-parenthesis, as opposed to outside? And is there anything wrong with the phrase outside of? For the curious worker with words, the questions are almost limitless.

Fortunately, there are usage writers (or “usagists”) who have treated these questions with thorough erudition—so you needn’t merely guess.

This seminar presents 100 questions that are either basic or intermediate. After what you think is the better answer for each one, we’ll review the answers. You will be able to assess your current level of knowledge while instantly enhancing it.

Seminar Specifications

Seminar Length

60 minutes (total video length)

License Window

30 days from date of license purchase.

Production Date

January 19; 2011; Full review: November 30, 2020

Live, interactive function

Call or email us with questions at LawProse

Seminar Format

Print out Course Material (PDF)
Begin the seminar video.

Seminar Content Tree
(seminar module)

  • Directions
  • Course Material (Usage Quiz PDF)
  • PowerPoint Presentation (PDF)
  • Legal Usage for Virtuoso Legal Writers Part 1 (video)
  • First-Break Quiz
  • Legal Usage for Virtuoso Legal Writers Part 2 (video)
  • Second-Break Quiz
  • Legal Usage for Virtuoso Legal Writers Part 3 (video)
  • Final Quiz
  • Code Word Entry
  • Answer Key (PDF)

CLE State Approvals


Please send your California Bar number, seminar-completion date, seminar name, and code word to to receive a California CLE Certificate from LawProse.


Please send your Texas Bar number, seminar-completion date, seminar name, and code word to LawProse will report your CLE credit directly to the Texas Bar.

LawProse Policy on CLE Credit

Please check with your state bar to see whether web seminars qualify.

We are accredited CLE providers for online training in California and Texas.

Texas credit: Email your name, Texas Bar number, seminar name, and the date of completion to We’ll report your credit within the next five days.

California certificate: Email your name, California Bar number, seminar name, and the date of completion to We’ll send you a California CLE Certificate for your self-reporting records within the next five days.

If you’re seeking credit elsewhere, please take the certificate of attendance from the program to use as part of your application for credit to your state bar. Please check with your state bar to see whether web seminars qualify.

Want more focused training on specific legal-writing skills? Professor Bryan A. Garner has created over 40 hours here for you. Learn the skills of legal writing and take the mystery out of the art.

Discounts & Watching as a Group

Discounts are available as additional-viewer licenses. These are for groups simultaneously viewing a self-paced online seminar using one computer connection. When one participant pays the full list price, each additional viewer pays for an additional-viewer license—again, if all registrants view on one screen together. You can register your group by calling LawProse at 214-691-8588 or emailing or directly on our e-learning site.

Please note that the list price is for the purchase of a primary-viewer license (an individual license for a single viewing by a single viewer). You may purchase additional additional-viewer licenses that are priced at a discounted tuition rate on our e-learning site or contacting us at 214-691-8588. We ask for your cooperation in protecting our intellectual-property rights. We’re happy to help direct you to any particular course topic you’re looking for, to discuss group pricing, and to answer any other questions you may have.

Please see our FAQs on Self-Paced Online Seminars.

Scroll to Top