If you’re a multi-tasker, here’s something you can do to improve your writing: Stop multi-tasking, and instead focus. Don’t take my word for it. Read this short article by Prof. Anne Enquist; she digs into the brain research and explains why multi-tasking may be impairing your ability to focus. The one thing you can do to improve your writing: Do only one thing at a time.
If you don’t mind a little sun, sand, and sea with your professional development, then please consider the Legal Writing Institute’s 14th Biennial Conference, to be held at the Marco Island Marriott Beach Resort in south Florida (Gulf side) June 27–30. Although the conference is mainly for legal-writing teachers, there are also several items on the menu for practitioners. Among those will be my own presentation, scheduled for Wednesday, June 30, on how to emphasize without doing THIS or this!!!, and how to de-emphasize without hiding stuff in footnotes or omitting it altogether.
Some people love exclamation points. Others hate them. It’s a bad idea for a member of one camp to become romantically involved with a member of the other. Here’s the proof. (Hat tip to NOLA blogger Adrastos.)
If you give presentations using PowerPoint or similar software, then you may be interested in this article by Profs. Lars Smith and Ariana Levinson on drafting effective PowerPoint slides. And if you give lots of presentations, then you may want to subscribe to Presentation Zen.
I take for granted that it’s important to care about your writing. But why is it important? My friend Dan Hull answers the question better than I can. Dan’s point: caring about writing correlates to caring about the reader. If the reader is a judge or a client, then you damn well ought to care about your writing.
If you’re looking for some quality CLE, you may want to check out Bryan Garner’s upcoming webinars and live seminars.
Here’s his webinar lineup:
- Better Brief-Writing in 60 Minutes, Feb. 18.
- Better Grammar for Lawyers, Feb. 23 and Mar. 1
- Better Punctuation for Lawyers, Mar. 11
- Better Legal Memos in 60 Minutes, Mar. 17
For information and on-line registration, click here.
If you’re anywhere near one of the cities listed below, think about signing up for Bryan’s Advanced Legal Writing and Editing seminar:
- Kansas City - Feb. 8
- St. Louis - Feb. 9
- Miami - Feb. 17
- Louisville - Feb. 25
- Nashville - March 1
- Little Rock - March 4
- Houston - March 15
- Austin - March 18
- Phoenix - March 24
- Dallas - March 31
If you’ve never attended this seminar before, I promise you it’ll be well worth your time and you’re firm’s money.
And if you’re anywhere near Phoenix on March 25 or Dallas on April 1, and if your practice involves drafting contracts, you may want to consider signing up for Bryan’s Advanced Legal Drafting seminar. I haven’t taken that one myself, but if it’s as good as the Garner seminars I have taken, it will blow your contract-drafting mind.