Writing Skills

Intended audience
Scottish Trainees

3 hours


  • Plenary sessions
  • Small group sessions focusing on practical case study based writing exercises
  • Individual work exercises
  • Coaching and feedback to delegates


  • Considering the needs, expectations and social and professional context of the recipient
  • Preparing correspondence and reports to clients in plain language
  • Assessing tone, register and structure of your own communications
  • Gathering, organising and presenting evidence in writing, using email and letter format


  • Introduction
  • Communication
  • The Audience
  • The Purpose
  • Planning and Structure
  • Plain English
  • Punctuation and Spelling
  • Not Grammar
  • Writing to Persuade

The PEAT2 Outcomes relevant to, and covered by, this course are listed below:

  • knowing how to distil complex legal information into clear, concise and unambiguous communications suitable for clients, fellow professionals who are non-solicitors, and others.
  • knowing how to tailor his or her style of communication to suit the purpose of the communication and the needs of different clients and other recipients.
  • knowing how to produce communications which meet client or supervising solicitor instructions and which are fit for purpose
  • knowing how to select appropriate forms of communication according to message being conveyed (letter, email, phone).
  • knowing how to find out what detail different clients require.
  • understanding how to prioritise the information being communicated appropriately.
  • understanding the importance of timing communications carefully.
  • understanding the importance of being sensitive to the implications of communications to clients.
  • knowing how to use correct spelling and appropriate grammar, syntax and punctuation.
  • understanding how to make writing fluent and reader-friendly.
  • knowing how to make a lexical choice appropriate to genre and audience.
  • knowing how to ensure relevant legal and factual issues are addressed.
  • knowing how to articulate argument and identify options.
  • knowing how to adapt a style to a particular context, bearing in mind substantive and procedural legal context, audience, possible future audiences and possible litigation context
  • knowing how to evaluate his or her writing skills
  • knowing how to use email format efficiently (clear subject line, use of signature file, appropriate timing of email).
  • Understanding and knowing how to use proper business and professional etiquette within an electronic environment
  • understanding the difference between letters and emails and when the latter are most appropriate.

Assumed level of prior knowledge and experience
In terms of knowledge, the relevant PEAT1 outcomes are assumed. It is assumed that you will already have experience of writing in different contexts at work.

Training Team

Neil Seligman

Module Leader
Neil Seligman

Elspeth Mills Rendall

Shalini Sequeira

Fresh Professional Development  Ltd, The Forum, 277 London Road, Burgess Hill, West Sussex, RH15 9QU
t. 01454 550066, e., w. © Fresh Professional Development Ltd. 2017

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