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Persuading People On The Page And On The Screen

The Psychology, Science and Ethics of Successful Written Communication
Sybil Dunlop

Client communications, in-firm emails and research memos, legal briefs and marketing are our
life’s work. An insightful examination of the data underscoring the impacts of good (and bad)
writing provides the basis for this valuable day.
Writing Mistakes that Undermine Your Credibility.


Effective Email.


Eliminating Writer’s Block.


Brief writing

  • The Opening Paragraph: Six sentences that frame your brief.

  • We Laughed, We Cried: Tips for drafting a well-written fact section.

  • Strategies for crafting a legal argument from Cicero to Garner.

  • Legal citation: How to prove your case through citation to authority.

  • Conclusions: Why you should never conclude with “for all these reasons please grant
    my motion.”

  • Make it work: The art of polishing, revising, and editing.


Credibility and your ethical obligations.

Writing Resources for Lawyers.

Program Agenda & Detail

6 Hours Including 1 Ethics

[Part I: 90 Minutes]

Why Good Writing Matters for Lawyers


Writing Mistakes that Undermine Your Credibility

We all know the difference between “you’re” and “your,” but what about the mistakes
that we don’t even realize we make? From the differences between “fewer” and “less” as
well as “that” and “which,” the lesser known (and frequently blown) rules of grammar
substantially impact your credibility.


15 Minute Break
[Part II 90 Minutes]

Effective Email

A study in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology reveals that people misinterpret
the meaning and tone of emails as much as 50 percent of the time. An inappropriate
salutation or ineffective organization will undermine your effort to communicate clearly.
Sybil Dunlop shares strategies to ensure that your emails convey the message that you


Eliminating Writer's Block
We procrastinate, and some social scientists suggest that lawyers might procrastinate
because they have to write so much. These tips will help you get going and, perhaps, even
achieve flow (becoming fully immersed in a feeling of energized focus) with your writing.


[Part III: 90 Minutes]

Brief Writing

Don’t you wish you had an hour with the Judge to convince him or her as to the strength of
your position? You do. It’s called your brief. Sybil Dunlop honed her craft analyzing briefs
submitted to federal court. She knows what gets ignored and, more importantly, what

  • The Opening Paragraph

  • Tips for drafting a well-written fact section

  • Strategies for crafting a legal argument

  • Legal citation

  • Conclusions

  • Make it work

15 Minute Break
[Part IV: 90 Minutes]


Credibility and your ethical obligations

A lawyer shall not knowingly make a false statement of fact or law to a tribunal. But we
recognize that our opposing counsel is out there mischaracterizing facts, failing to provide
accurate legal citations, and ignoring the law. Here’s how to walk the line and call your
opponent out for transgressions.


Writing Resources for Lawyers
Help is out there; here’s where to find it.



Unconditional Guarantee
If you are not convinced that your understanding of the course topic has
improved after completion of any P.E.G.® seminar, we will refund your course tuition.


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