An expert on legal writing and clinical teaching methods, Tom is ideally suited to develop a writing program that benefits your attorneys. Tom has taught advanced writing techniques to attorneys for over fifteen years at top law firms, public interest legal organizations, and in MCLE programs. He also directed and taught in the Lawyering Skills Clinical Program at UCLA School of Law for nineteen years. Tom’s legal writing programs help improve anyone’s written analysis, from beginning to seasoned professionals. Tom presents on all topics relevant to written advocacy and will tailor his programs to tackle specific problem areas in your attorneys’ writing.
Tom offers a wide range of programs that can enhance your attorneys’ written advocacy and are structured to ensure that attendees receive MCLE credit. The length and content of his programs are tailored to client needs, from shorter 90-minute or two-hour seminars to more intensive half- and full-day workshops. Tom incorporates humor and pace into his sessions, bringing energy and life to topics that might otherwise be viewed as somewhat dry. He provides excellent teaching materials, writing samples, and handouts in all his sessions, ensuring that attendees have materials they can refer to in their future work.
Tom also offers specialized “transition to practice” writing programs for summer associates and new attorneys to help evolve from academic legal writing to practice-oriented legal writing. Because of his extensive teaching background, Tom understands the typical strengths and weaknesses of legal writing programs at highly-ranked law schools; he also recognizes that some writing advice that students may receive in their upper-level seminar courses may not be applicable to written advocacy in litigation practice. Tom’s programs strengthen new attorneys’ writing skills in areas where they may not have received sufficient instruction and practice during law school. His programs also help new attorneys abandon writing techniques that — while perhaps relevant to writing academic papers and law review articles — should not be used in practice.
Below is a summary of the major topics Tom’s legal writing programs can address:
• Creating compelling themes to support requests for relief
• Stating requests for relief
• Crafting concise arguments
• Writing supporting parentheticals
• Maintaining credibility in statements of fact
• Organizing statements of fact
• Using fact emphasis and de-emphasis techniques to develop a favorable foundation for arguments