The LawProse Editing Method

The LawProse Editing Method

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(1 hour long)



Every skill—whether it’s playing a musical instrument or scoring points in a sports competition—can be improved by isolating the component subskills and mastering each one of them. Editing is no different. It is, after all, really a complex series of mini-skills by which you react to a draft, spotting problems and fixing them.

How do you spot the right problems and fix them in the right way? That’s as difficult as meeting Jonathan Swift’s definition of “syle”: putting proper words in proper places. A good editor approaches a text with the strong suspicion that the writer hasn’t put the right words in the right places—and seeks to remedy all the defects.

At LawProse, we developed a step-by-step editing method that will prompt editors or self-editors to carry out edits that they might otherwise miss. These “new” types of edits then become part of your editorial repertoire. With a little practice using the LawProse Editing Method, you’ll find yourself executing previously unused techniques almost automatically. It’s a matter of conditioning yourself.

The techniques to be used differ depending on the document. If you’re editing someone else’s draft, you’re sure to need to make level-one edits during your first read-through. But if you’re engaged in self-editing and are therefore intimately familiar with the subject-matter, you may well start with level-three edits and then work through the first two levels. That’s a matter of how familiar you are with the writing when you begin editing.

And then there’s the question what type of document you’re editing. There’s one approach for analytical and persuasive writing (memos and briefs) and another for transactional and legislative writing (contracts and statutes). We’ll work through a motion and a contract to demonstrate the two approaches.

LawProse Policy on CLE Credit

LawProse web seminars are approved for CLE credit in most states where allowed. A few states don’t yet approve web seminars. Please check with your state bar to see whether web seminars qualify. We have a live moderator at each session.

We are accredited CLE providers in California, Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, Missouri, New York (hybrid accreditation), and Texas. As accredited providers, we will report attendance in Delaware, Hawaii, Indiana, Louisiana, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

Please check with your state bar for its rules on CLE credits for self-study programs. Attorneys seeking Pennsylvania credit are not required to pass the tests within each program. Missouri limits self-paced CLE credits to six per year.


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Group and multi-program discounts are also available for both webinars and self-paced on-demand programs. The discounts apply to groups with at least three participants or registrations for at least three courses. Please contact LawProse for more information.

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