As more law firms adopt plain language policies, law students wanting to make their mark in the profession need to be able deliver legal advice with a focus on the client – whether that’s a corporate client or a member of the public. Up-and-coming lawyers who write and communicate clearly can better meet their professional responsibilities, and reduce the risk of client misunderstandings and complaints.
At the foundation, we come at plain language from the perspective of the community. We know that many people feel intimidated by the complexity of the law. If it is presented in a clearer, less technical way we can improve the public’s experience of the law. We can also improve their legal outcomes. That’s why we teach the principles of plain language to tomorrow’s lawyers – law students.
For the first time, the foundation is offering Victorian law students free, one-hour training sessions introducing them to the principles and benefits of plain language.
Law students are traditionally taught to dissect judgments, legislation and other legal documents. So it’s no surprise that instinctively they tend to adopt the formal tone and dense writing style of these documents. They learn to write like a lawyer, which is not always helpful for the general public.
The foundation’s training provides law students from all year levels the chance to develop their legal writing skills. Students will learn to write more concisely and clearly in their assignments and examinations and be given practical examples of what is expected of them in the workplace.
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Other plain language training opportunities
We also offer Plain Language Training Intensive workshops for lawyers and community legal education workers and quarterly Legal Sector Publishing Forums. Find out how our plain language training and workshops can help you and your organisation produce better legal information.
For more information about attending a plain language training session, or to organise a student plain language training session at your university, contact our Projects Officer on (03) 9604 8100 or email.