Clear contract drafting and legal writing

PSC communication skills elective

This highly practical day grounds trainees in drafting and writing clearly, confidently and effectively. By engaging in exercises throughout, trainees will draw out and practise guidelines to improve style and to ensure completeness and accuracy. They will work on precedent clauses and drafting from scratch, and on legal correspondence writing. And they will also brush up on some grammar and punctuation.


Through a series of group and individual exercises, trainees will:

  • learn to spot common drafting and writing [errors]
  • familiarise themselves with and start adopting guidelines for clear drafting and otherlegal writing
  • learn how to amend precedent clauses for style and completeness
  • gain a basis for drafting clauses simply from scratch
  • learn to avoid some common grammar and punctuation errors


  1. Objectives: writing for the reader and for the purpose
  2. Contract drafting:
    • clause structuring
    • style and grammar for clear writing, including tenses, voice (active and passive),syntax and language
    • provisos and exceptions and how to avoid over-cross referring
    • ambiguity and how to avoid it
    • language of obligation and discretion: shall, will, must and may

Exercises mainly on deconstructing and redrafting poorly drafted clauses to draw out a set of clear drafting guidelines; some virgin drafting

  1. General legal writing
    • clear writing guidelines for legal correspondence or reports
    • structuring and information order
    • punctuation review and proof reading for common grammar errors

Exercises include reviewing and amending a poorly written letter or report.

You may also be interested in:

Who should attend?

Trainee solicitors

Group size

Preferred max 12-14

Course length

Six hours but can be varied


Exercises in small groups and alone
Trainer and group feedback


Stella Styllis
Jackie Jones-Parry

Training options

In-house group: standard or tailored course
One-to-one training