LawProse Lesson #415: Your Subconscious Competence

LawProse Lesson #415: Your Subconscious Competence

What happens when you write a good letter, memo, motion, or brief within a reasonable time according to your skill level—one that suits both your purposes and your reader’s? You rely on stored knowledge that you’ve made automatic. Without trying, you’ve blended the powers of your subconscious and conscious minds. The subconscious part is the sum total of what you’ve learned about technique, together with all the experience you’ve ever had in writing. If all that adds up to substantial know-how, you’re going to write well. It’s entirely predictable that you will.

As for the conscious mind, that part focuses mostly on the substantive points you need to make: the applicability of a statute, the caselaw on point, the policy rationales that bear on your conclusion, and (this is really important) the facts that invoke these legal considerations. These things involve explicit and detailed knowledge acquired through study and analysis. That’s what law school teaches you.

What LawProse teaches you is how to train yourself in technique and acquire meaningful writing experience. We teach you specific methods that you’ll integrate into your subconscious approach to writing. Once you’ve done that—and it can happen surprisingly soon—you’ll find yourself habitually writing good letters, memos, motions, and briefs. It’s entirely predictable that you will.

Live seminars this year with Professor Bryan A. Garner: Advanced Legal Writing & Editing

Attend the most popular CLE seminar of all time. More than 215,000 people—including lawyers, judges, law clerks, and paralegals—have benefited since the early 1990s. You'll learn the keys to professional writing and acquire no-nonsense techniques to make your letters, memos, and briefs more powerful.

You'll also learn what doesn't work and why—know-how gathered through Professor Garner's unique experience in training lawyers at the country's top law firms, state and federal courts, government agencies, and Fortune 500 companies.

Professor Garner gives you the keys to make the most of your writing aptitude—in letters, memos, briefs, and more. The seminar covers five essential skills for persuasive writing:

  • framing issues that arrest the readers' attention;
  • cutting wordiness that wastes readers' time;
  • using transitions deftly to make your argument flow;
  • quoting authority more effectively; and
  • tackling your writing projects more efficiently.

He teaches dozens of techniques that make a big difference. Most important, he shows you what doesn't work—and why—and how to cultivate skillfulness.

Register to reserve your spot today.

Have you wanted to bring Professor Garner to teach your group? Contact us at for more information about in-house seminars.

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