LawProse Lesson #416: Writing Can’t Be Taught

LawProse Lesson #416: Writing Can’t Be Taught

You sometimes hear that writing “can’t be taught.” The statement has some truth in it: because writing is a complex integration of thought and technique, no teacher can supervise you while you do it. As a field of practical application, it requires doing. Only when you actually write can you apply whatever theories you might have learned.

Yet an effective teacher can explain the universals of good writing and suggest methods of thinking and practicing that will enable you to write well. It’s not that you’ll wake up one day with a talent for framing legal issues. But you can acquire the skill if you know some good rules for issue-framing. These rules, by the way, typically involve a lot of “unlearning” because the usual methods taught in law schools tend to create obscurity, not clarity.

And if you learn to frame issues effectively—so that any reader immediately understands the problem and how it arises, all before leaving page 1—you’re halfway home. That involves a variety of learnable techniques that Professor Bryan A. Garner teaches. Every day, he shows that writing can indeed be taught.

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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