Good drafting matters


Drafting clear and succinct pleadings is a core skill required by legal professionals. It is also the widely accepted view within the sector that this key capability needs attention and is often a cause of frustration for members of the judiciary.

Training in this fundamental aspect of practice is also a scarce resource, with many relying on precedents when required to draft documents. This is a time consuming, manual process that results in less billable hours for attorneys. Relying on existing precedents that may not “fit the bill” can lead to a lack of clarity in documents created for presentation to the bench, costing time, and causing delays.

The backlog of court cases, further impacted by the COVID-19 lockdown, has seen the courts transition to a new way of working. With many courts trying to expedite resolution of cases on the court docket, or operating via teleconferencing, overworked judges need to be able to understand pleadings presented with ease.

The first step in the process is understanding the process of determining a cause of action from a client statement. The legal professional needs to express the client’s case effectively, eloquently displaying legal knowledge and acumen to translate to a successful outcome.

While some legal training institutions have recognised the lack of entry level writing skills in candidates from disadvantaged educational backgrounds, addressing this through writing courses, historically there remains a lack of detailed and specific training for the mastering of drafting skills.

Whether you are a fully-fledged legal counsel or candidate attorney, pupil advocate or seasoned professional, it’s time to save yourself – and the presiding judge – time and effort to ensure a better outcome for your client by enhancing your drafting skills.

Former Judge of the High Court and Competition Appeal Court, Advocate Hussain has served on the panel of trainers for the Law Society and Legal Aid SA, providing training in Drafting, Trial Technique, Commercial Drafting and Financial Compliance to Attorneys, Advocates and business executives. He also writes training manuals for the Law Society, Government and Financial institutions.

Advocate Hussain released his step-by-step guide to acquiring drafting skills, Practical Drafting Skills, in late 2019 and is well positioned to impart wisdom to the legal profession on this valuable skill.

Join LexisNexis and Advocate Hussain for a free guide to the fundamental of mastering legal drafting. 

Time: Jul 28, 2020 10:00 AM in Johannesburg

Click here to register for the Webinar

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