Noah is currently accepting reservations to train attorneys during Summer 2017 and, on a limited basis, during the rest of 2017. For additional information about bringing Noah into your attorney-development program (or retaining him to provide confidential consulting), please call 203-500-6293 or send Noah an email. You can also read what his clients have said about him on the testimonials page.
The programs listed below are samples of what he teaches–workshops designed for attorneys at any level of experience unless otherwise specified. The programs largely focus on skills that litigators need, but Programs 1, 4, and 5 are suitable for transactional attorneys, and Noah can easily tweak these programs to make them focused equally on litigators and transactional lawyers. Program 6 is suitable for inexperienced attorneys in any practice group (including support staff). Noah typically customizes his offerings to meet the specific needs of specific clients. Here are the sample programs:
1. ORGANIZATIONAL STRATEGIES – [1.5 hours]
This program presents more than a dozen organizational strategies, from broad techniques (such as the proper sequence for the sections of an argument and how to organize a section of a brief) to minor choices (such as the best order in which to list three items in a sentence and where to include the most important part of a sentence).
2. BASIC USE OF FACTS – [1.5 hours]
This program uses examples of superb writing from The Art of Advocacy to train participants to write more effective Statements of Fact. Special emphasis is placed on the importance of excluding information—unlike nearly all other seemingly similar programs, which focus exclusively on what to say about whichever facts the lawyer has already chosen to include. This seminar emphasizes that discretion and restraint are just as important as good prose, smooth flow, and prudent application of makeup in the right spots. Also, the workshop provides concrete examples of how to deal with bad facts rather than the general and dangerous platitudes that one often hears, such as “disclose all bad facts.” Participants will also learn how to extract the greatest possible power from record materials—a technique that Noah calls “splitting the atom.” Designed for newer attorneys.
3. ADVANCED USE OF FACTS – [1.5 hours]
This program is designed either for experienced attorneys or for lawyers who have completed Noah’s basic workshop about facts. The techniques studied in this workshop include the art of weaponizing a case’s procedural history, using psychology to move your reader toward your client or against your adversary, and understanding the difference about how, in a Statement, lawyers may rely on law—which is acceptable, and often important—without wading into arguments.
4. WRITING BETTER SENTENCES [1.5 hours (or longer)]
Noah covers the three core principles of writing good sentences—sparing readers from what he calls “RAM” problems, using good verbs, and playing “tag” between one sentence and the next. (The first of these three categories includes the single, fastest way to help weak writers please their supervising attorneys with their legal writing.) Participants also learn advanced points overlooked by other legal-writing specialists, such as the importance of monosyllabic verbs (which they will receive 1800 examples of), the need to vary the structure of sentences, and a dozen strategies to provide that variety. Like houses, even well-built sentences become dull when they closely resemble neighboring homes.
5. WRITING BETTER PARAGRAPHS [1 hour]
Paragraphs are the most important structural unit in legal writing, but few lawyers ever think about what a paragraph should—or can—do. In addition to discussing critical and well-known issues like the need to have a strong topic sentence, this workshop provides participants with the tools to ensure that their paragraphs proceed in a sensible order, stick to the point, and engross readers.
6. WRITING PROFESSIONAL EMAILS AND LETTERS [1 hour for emails; 1 hour for letters, or 1.5 hours for both (by leaving out a few tips from each)]
For every brief or contract that an associate will prepare, she or he will write a thousand emails. This workshop focuses on how to write professional, clear, user-friendly emails and letters in a digital age—and how to avoid the many hilarious and horrifying cautionary tales that Noah shares to scare your younger attorneys into being sensible emailers. Special consideration is paid to the need to make things easy for supervising attorneys, for which Noah has developed two special rules related to the email’s subject line and the email’s first sentence. Designed for newer attorneys.
7. WRITING KNOCKOUT OPENINGS [1.5 hours]
The beginning of any document presents an enormous opportunity to influence readers and to shape their impression of both you and your client. By studying examples of great openings and completing some exercises that push participants to find powerful themes in what might otherwise look like a dull morass of facts and law, lawyers learn to win motions and briefs before the other side even has a chance to respond.
8. HOW TO WRITE A LEGAL MEMORANDUM [1.5 hours]
A strong legal memorandum is parsed in order to show participants what a legal memo can and should do. The program goes beyond the basics—the ordinary challenge in a memo of helping associates to identify what some generic, hypothetical court will do. Instead, this program (during the two-hour version) discusses how to research what a specific judge will do, how to discern when a supervising attorney really wants a piece of advocacy in the form of a memo, and how to dazzle clients even when you give them disappointing news. Designed for newer attorneys.
9. CREATIVITY AND PERSUASION [1.5 hours]
One of the main benefits of The Art of Advocacy is that it compiles an astounding array of creative and effective ways to persuade readers. In this program, Noah moves briskly through fifty of the most interesting and compelling examples from his book (as well as some even-more-recent exemplars that he has found): the goal is not to entertain—although most of the examples are as fun as they are impressive. Rather, Noah seeks to expand the repertoire and moxie of attorneys by giving them the creativity and confidence to find winning arguments—even if those winning arguments might be nonobvious or unconventional.
10. TOP 10 TIPS [1 hour]
The top 10 principles that Noah learned while writing The Art of Advocacy are compressed into a one-hour session. This program will be most useful for newer attorneys but will provide a useful refresher (and a helpful synthesis of writing principles) to more-experienced lawyers.
Participants in Noah’s workshops often complete short exercises to help them absorb the relevant principles. Programs can be customized—either by combining the topics discussed above to fit into a shorter time period or be developing new programs from scratch. For instance, Noah has recently offered programs that expose associates to the various documents that litigators prepare frequently but that law schools rarely teach, such as declarations, complaints, and nondispositive motions.
The programs can all be compressed, as most associates prefer programs that end after 90 minutes.
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Noah also works with attorneys and other professionals one-on-one—and often finds these sessions to be the most transformative for younger attorneys.