Legal Writing for Students & New Lawyers: Writing Effective Memoranda of Law |

Legal Writing for Students and New Lawyers: Writing Effective Memoranda of Law

Legal Writing for Students and New Lawyers: Writing Effective Memoranda of Law

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CPD Accredited Credits
Professionalism: 1.25
80 minutes
Mark Gannage
Neil Guthrie
Toronto Lawyers Association (TLA)
80 minutes
$139.00 plus tax
Includes Handouts

Students and new lawyers are frequently asked to write memoranda of law for lawyers and/or their clients The purpose is to answer one or more questions based on a specific set of facts. A memo thoroughly analyses the germane law and applies it to those facts. The ability to write an effective legal memorandum is an essential skill early in one’s legal career.

Anyone can write a memo. But writing an effective one is more challenging and presents an opportunity for you to excel and stand out. Learn how to improve your memo-writing skills in this hands-on program. You are encouraged to submit in advance your writing samples. (You may remain anonymous and all confidential information must be removed.) Parts of some samples will be used as a teaching tool.

Professionalism Content: 90

Participants will be encouraged to submit in advance writing samples and parts of the samples will be used as a teaching tool to demonstrate:

  • Drafting in plain language, including theory and practical application (40 minutes)
  • Being sensitive to clients’ circumstances, special needs, and intellectual capacity (e.g., multi-cultural, language, gender, socioeconomic status, demeanour) (10 minutes)
  • Practice management tips (timing, file-management, defensive practice, limitations of advice etc.) (25 minutes)


Deputy Judge Mark Gannage

Mark Gannage is a litigation and research lawyer, previously of McCarthy Tetrault, Goodmans, Stikeman Elliott, and Torys.

He is the author of Gannage 's Ontario Civil Litigation Commentary and Checklist, three chapters in Bullen & Leake & Jacob's Canadian Precedents qf Pleadings, several published articles, a federal law reform report and a federal law reform working paper. He is a Contributing Editor of the Toronto Law Journal.

A former full time and adjunct law professor, Mr Gannage conceived, designed and taught U of T Law School's first course in Advance Legal Research, Analysis and Writing.

Mr Gannage was invited to be the first (and last!) Head of Legal Research and Analysis of the  now deceased  Bar Admission  Course. RIP.

Neil Guthrie Director, Professional Development, Research & Knowledge Management

Neil Guthrie is Director of Professional Development, Research and Knowledge Management at Aird & Berlis LLP. Neil teaches legal research and writing at the Faculty of Law, University of Toronto, and in the LPP at Ryerson University. His writing tips appear regularly on and have been collected, revised and expanded in Guthrie’s Guide to Better Legal Writing (Irwin Law, 2017).

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