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Effective legal writing


If you are tired of the way your company or firm drafts contracts, polices or opinions, and you are ready to take on the challenge of communicating professionally, clearly and effectively, then this is the short course for you. There will be an e-learning module to be worked through before the two-day workshop.

The course will help you understand the requirements for effective legal writing, analyse your own writing, and develop strategies to improve your writing. Although there is a strong theoretical component, participants will be given exercises to help hone their skills. The presenters will provide feedback throughout the course to help participants further improve their writing.

  • Plain language? Check.
  • Clarity? Check.
  • Precision? Check.

Join us for a six-hour online course, held over two days.

When and where?

Option 1: 27 and 29 July 2021, 9:00 to 12:00
Registrations close on 13 July

Option 2: 25 and 27 October 2021, 9:00 to 12:00
Registrations close on 11 October

You will be required to prepare some work before the course starts, and between the two sessions.

This course will be held remotely, most likely on Zoom - exact details will be sent to registered participants a few days before the course.

Course outline

For this course, you will be given instructions and access to certain e-learning modules before the first webinar session. You will be required to complete the instructions and send your completed product to the lecturers for discussion during the webinar sessions.

During the first webinar session, we'll cover: 

  • Our approach to effective legal writing
  • Understanding your audience
  • Clarifying your purpose  

After this webinar, you will then be given access to a second online module: “Planning your writing”. This must be completed before the second webinar session.

During the second webinar session, we'll cover:

  • How to achieve a professional, human style
  • How to edit your own or someone else’s writing
  • How to test your documents with real people, and why you should

Who will benefit from this course?

Whether you write consumer-facing communication, business-to-business contracts, policies, or opinions, this course will give you the tools to communicate effectively. A legal background is not essential, but some legal knowledge would be beneficial.


Liezl van Zyl and Elizabeth de Stadler are directors at Hey Plain Jane. Hey Plain Jane is an information design agency that helps companies achieve clarity in their communication. They create clear, innovative, and beautiful forms, terms and conditions, and policies to help these companies build trust and communicate with empathy. What many companies see as an exercise in compliance is really an investment in the success of their business. Clear communication has the power to improve operations, enhance marketing, reduce customer complaints, and mitigate legal risk. The founders are crusaders for clarity on every level. The company was started in 2017 by Novation Consulting and Liezl van Zyl. Its headquarters are in Stellenbosch with an office in Cape Town. Hey Plain Jane has clients in financial services, artificial intelligence, higher education, and retail. They work with best-in-class designers, animators, and copy writers to simplify technical communication.

How much?

R1,500 per person


A certificate of attendance from UCT will be issued to those who attend both sessions of the course.

How to sign up

Complete and submit the registration form. You will then be given the payment information. Please note that registrations will not be accepted until payment has been made.

About ten days before the course starts you will be given access to the e-learning module. You will be sent the Zoom link for the workshop sessions a day or two in advance.

Registrations close two weeks before the course starts.

Download the brochure.