legal writing, CLE training; workshops in-house seminars, coaching

Frequently Asked Questions

How large a group can you accommodate? What is the ideal size?

There is no “ideal” size. Workshops have ranged in size from 10 to more than 80 participants; public CLE programs have been as large as 250 participants. Whatever the size, the participants will work on some exercises individually and they will take part in some small group exercises. They will also have the opportunity to ask questions in an atmosphere designed to encourage questions—whatever the group size.

Who should attend? Can experienced lawyers benefit, or is the workshop just for new lawyers?

Lawyers at all levels find the workshop helps improve writing skills, as do paralegals and technical specialists. Workshops have been successfully presented to groups combining junior, mid-level, and senior associates; sometimes partners participate. Occasionally, administrative personnel also take part. Some firms prefer to schedule workshops just for new associates or summer associates.

“While I had expectations that your workshop would benefit our associates, having attended myself, I can verify that it also offered great insight and ideas to more experienced attorneys in your audience.”

Robert E. Coletti, Esq., Partner
Keating, Muething & Klekamp, P.L.L. (Cincinnati)Top of Page

“Your emphasis on the editing process is sensible, clear, and powerful, and even some of our best writers found your approach and suggestions beneficial.”

William H. Kitchens, Esq., Managing Partner
Arnall Golden Gregory LLP (Atlanta)Top of Page

“[Participants included] first year associates . . . experienced associates and senior counsel.

Everyone was enthusiastic about your workshop and praised it highly. . . . You offered them concrete and practical ways to improve the process of writing and the written product.”

R. Lisa DiLuna, M.Ed., J.D.,
Director of Professional Development and Ombudsperson

Palmer & Dodge LLP (Boston)Top of Page

How about partner participation?

Although partner participation is not essential, partners are encouraged to take part.

When your partners participate in a workshop, they are emphasizing the importance of writing in the practice of law. In addition, partners and associates take from the workshop a common approach they can use to improve your firm’s written product.

“From the Chairman of our Litigation Department, a trial lawyer with thirty-plus years of experience, to the most newly minted of associates, your presentation was uniformly well received and appreciated. Shareholders and associates alike came away from the seminar with a common vocabulary for communicating about commonly encountered writing challenges.”

David J. Zubkoff, Esq. Shareholder,
Director of Associate Professional Development

Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek (San Diego) Top of Page

“Comprehensive overview of writing skills. Thoroughly enjoyable session. Learned a lot.”

George P. Whitley, Esq., Partner
Co-Chair, Financial Institutions Practice Group

LeClair Ryan (Richmond, VA) Workshop 2002Top of Page

Do you schedule Saturday workshops?

Workshops can be scheduled on a Saturday.

“In light of the fact that we chose to have our workshop on a Saturday morning, we also came away with an appreciation for the selective, efficient, and effective manner in which you organized and presented a subject as extensive as it is important. Again, thank you.”

David J. Zubkoff, Esq. Shareholder,
Director of Associate Professional Development

Seltzer Caplan McMahon Vitek (San Diego)


“The presentation was very informative and useful, doubtless due to the skillful and entertaining methods you utilized to hold the attention of lawyers who initially believed their Saturdays could be more productively employed in other pursuits. From their enthusiastic responses, you obviously changed their minds.”

Gage Andretta, Esq., Partner
Wolff & Samson PC (West Orange, NJ)Top of Page

Can your workshop really improve a lawyer’s writing? After all, our lawyers have gone through many years of schooling. How can a half-day workshop make a difference?

The best answer to these questions comes from Marilyn’s clients. As you can see from her client list, her clients regularly invite her to return to work with new groups of lawyers. They invite Marilyn back because they see improvement in their lawyers’ written work product.

As one client said:

“I received many positive comments from those who attended and also from the partners who have already seen improvement in the writing of several associates. From the perspective of a managing partner, it is great to see this immediate return on our invesment.”

William H. Kitchens, Esq., Managing Partner
Arnall Golden Gregory LLP (Atlanta)Top of Page

We don’t have enough lawyers for a workshop. Could we “share” you with another firm?

Yes. If you don’t have enough participants for your own in-house program, you can join with another law firm or legal department to present the program on a shared basis. The program costs and travel costs are shared. Please call for more information.

If you are in a mandatory CLE state, there is another possibility—and it has marketing benefits for your firm. Invite your in-house counsel clients. They will appreciate the CLE credits and you will have the opportunity to build client relationships.

“Because we invited clients, we were able to include them in this very informative and entertaining program and provide them with CLE credits—at no cost to them, while providing us with an opportunity to spend time with our clients.”

Linda Acheson Pool, Esq., Chief Operating Officer
Tucker Arensberg, P.C. (Pittsburgh) Top of Page

Can we get CLE credit?

Yes, if your state permits MCLE credit for in-house programs. Check the chart “Can You Receive Credit for an In-House Legal Writing Seminar?” for more information.

The necessary paperwork will be provided so that you can apply for CLE credit.

The workshops have been approved in every state where approval has been sought. These states include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.

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Can we use videoconferencing?

Yes. While a skills-training workshop is most effective in person, Marilyn will conduct workshops with videoconferencing when necessary.

“This past summer we had 160 summer associates in 14 different offices . . . . We opted for videoconferencing, and I greatly appreciated your willingness to accommodate our needs. You seemed very comfortable using videoconference technology and with the idiosyncrasies that accompany it. . . . I was particularly impressed with your ability to engage the summer associates in the satellite offices, a detail other presenters typically overlook.”

Kara E. Nelson, Esq., Director, Legal Recruiting and Development
Foley & Lardner LLP (Milwaukee) Top of Page


How can we cut down on travel costs?

Marilyn might be able to schedule your workshop when she is already planning to be in your city. Some of the travel costs would then be shared. If that is not possible, you still might be able to share some of the costs: Once Marilyn schedules your workshop, she will see if she can add another workshop in your city. Let Marilyn know if there are other firms or legal departments in your city that might be interested in a workshop.

For more information about travel costs, click here.Top of Page

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