Program Philosophy

Everything you write should be persuasive. This is the premise behind Persuasive Matters. Effective persuasive writing puts your readers in a different state of mind, either emotionally or intellectually. If it doesn't, it's a waste of time.

A court motion, of course, is persuasive. But so is a letter to a client: there’s the inherent persuasive element when you convince your client of a point, but the quality of the writing itself also demonstrates that you're thorough, credible, and trustworthy. The same goes for a transactional document: if it's slipshod, readers will certainly question your accuracy and attention to detail. Even something as simple as an attorney’s official biography on a firm’s website is persuasive. While it’s just a set of facts, it persuades people of your expertise.

That's why everything you write is persuasive: clear and concise writing persuades your reader that you are credible and authoritative.

To show you how to write persuasively, Ben Opipari offers interactive and engaging writing programs as well as individual coaching. For five years, Ben was the in-house writing instructor at a Washington, DC based international law firm, where he was a member of the professional development department. He has twenty years of teaching experience on the university and corporate levels. His programs cover the entire writing process, using powerful writing examples from different areas so you’ll see what effective persuasive writing looks like.

Download a copy of the 2017 Persuasive Matters writing programs here (pdf)

Current Programs

NEW PROGRAM! Writing to Capture Clients

There are two kinds of writing: captive and non-captive. Captive writing is for the court, who is required to read it. Non-captive writing is different: reading is optional. No one has to read it.

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Ten Tips for Clear and Direct Legal Writing

This seminar features 10 tips to make your legal writing, regardless of context or audience, clear and concise. Ben uses both good and not-so-good examples from inside and outside the legal world in this interactive seminar.

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Revision: The Final Touch in Legal Writing

Effective revision of work product takes more than a cursory read-through at the end of your writing process.  It’s not just about correcting typos, fixing spelling mistakes, and trimming extra words.

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Developing Style in Your Legal Writing

The rules of writing are endless and often pedantic: by their very nature, they tell you what you should not do. Tethered to these rules, it’s easy to spend too much time thinking about what you can’t do (the rules), rather than what you should do (style).

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Telling a Persuasive Story

The statement of facts is one of the most important parts of your brief, creating a dominant first impression that wins over your reader immediately. But it also advances your argument: it’s subtly persuasive, and a good one pulls the reader to your position.

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Delivering Effective Feedback to Associates

This seminar teaches partners how to give relevant feedback to attorneys to help them become better writers. While red lining an associate’s work product may be a time-saver in the short run, it’s a time-waster in the long run if the attorney repeats the mistakes.

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Trimming the Fat in Your Writing

Have you ever listened to a long-winded colleague drone on, saying something in 100 words that could have been said in 10?  It’s likely that you became annoyed, distracted, and uninterested. It’s a waste of time for everyone. Writing is no different.

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Complicated Ideas, Simple Explanations

When we explain a concept from our area of expertise, it’s easy to forget that our readers don’t share our knowledge. The result? A confused and frustrated reader who sees nothing but jargon and convoluted phrases. Good writers explain a topic in a manner that anyone can understand.

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Punctuation Matters

Bad punctuation diminishes your credibility and prevents the smooth flow of ideas. Even worse, your message can be misinterpreted or unintelligible.

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