Ten Steps to Better Judicial Writing

Ten Steps to Better Judicial Writing - Self-Paced Online Seminars - LawProse

This online seminar develops ten surprisingly simple precepts that will revolutionize the way a court writes—all in the direction of clarity. Professor Gar­ner works through jurisprudential examples to show how close reasoning works in practice, and how it can best be expressed for the intended readership.

This is a workshop for judges, judicial clerks, and staff lawyers who seek to improve the work product of courts. Professor Garner has presented it live to state and federal judges in Alaska, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Washington, and Washington, D.C., as well as Mel­bourne, Australia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

In learning techniques of first-rate judicial writers, participants examine the different methods for opening judicial opinions and investigate how and why the opening paragraphs determine the style of what follows. We show the most common ways that American judges begin their opinions and suggest which ones are most effective.

The seminar also demonstrates effective editing techniques: how to choose the best words, how to sharpen and tighten sentences, and how to achieve continuity throughout. Although some of the same principles are covered in Advanced Legal Writing & Editing and The Winning Brief, this workshop focuses on the unique writing problems faced by judges

Seminar Specifications

Seminar Length

90 minutes (total video length)

License Window

30 days from date of license purchase.

Production Date

March 4, 2016; Full review: November 30, 2020

Live, interactive function

Call or email us with questions at LawProse

Seminar Format

Print out course materials PDF.
Begin the seminar video.

Seminar Content Tree
(seminar module)

  • Course Materials (PDF)
  • Video

CLE State Approvals


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


Please send your Texas Bar number, seminar-completion date, seminar name, and code word to info@lawprose.org. 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 info@lawprose.org. 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 info@lawprose.org. 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 info@lawprose.org 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.

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