LGL150 - Legal Drafting and Communication

Outline info
Last revision date 2017-11-21 11:55:45.165
Last review date 2017-11-21 11:55:57.891

Subject Title
Legal Drafting and Communication

Subject Description
This course introduces principles of clear communication and emphasizes effective, concise drafting that meets the competencies of the Law Society of Upper Canada.

Credit Status
This is a credit course applicable towards the Paralegal Certificate Program offered through the Faculty of Continuing Education and Training.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of this subject the student will be able to:

  1.                 Organize material and draft documents that meet high standards of grammar and style.
  2.                 Draft client-centred materials clearly and concisely in plain language.
  3.                 Apply good writing skills to routine legal documents such as correspondence, memos and pleadings.
  4.                 Edit and use precedents effectively.
  5.                 Cite cases and legislation using standard legal style guides.
  6.                 Identify issues under and apply law found in the Consumer Protection Act, 2002, in routine legal documents.
  7.                 Identify issues under and apply law found in the Sales of Goods Act, in routine legal documents.
  8.                 Describe the writing process (gather, organize, draft, edit).
  9.                 Identify reasons for writing well in professional correspondence and drafting.
  10.                 Display an attitude of professionalism, as evidenced by an ability to meet deadlines, complete assignments and perform tests and in-class assignments as scheduled.

Essential Employability Skills
Communicate clearly, concisely and correctly in the written, spoken and visual form that fulfils the purpose and meets the needs of the audience.

Respond to written, spoken, or visual messages in a manner that ensures effective communication.

Apply a systematic approach to solve problems.

Use a variety of thinking skills to anticipate and solve problems.

Locate, select, organize, and document information using appropriate technology and information systems.

Analyze, evaluate, and apply relevant information from a variety of sources.

Show respect for diverse opinions, values, belief systems, and contributions of others.

Interact with others in groups or teams in ways that contribute to effective working relationships and the achievement of goals.

Manage the use of time and other resources to complete projects.

Take responsibility for one's own actions, decisions, and consequences.

Cheating and Plagiarism
Each student should be aware of the College's policy regarding Cheating and Plagiarism. Seneca's Academic Policy will be strictly enforced.

To support academic honesty at Seneca College, all work submitted by students may be reviewed for authenticity and originality, utilizing software tools and third party services. Please visit the Academic Honesty site on http://library.senecacollege.ca for further information regarding cheating and plagiarism policies and procedures.

All students and employees have the right to study and work in an environment that is free from discrimination and/or harassment. Language or activities that defeat this objective violate the College Policy on Discrimination/Harassment and shall not be tolerated. Information and assistance are available from the Student Conduct Office at student.conduct@senecacollege.ca.

Accommodation for Students with Disabilities
The College will provide reasonable accommodation to students with disabilities in order to promote academic success. If you require accommodation, contact the Counselling and Disabilities Services Office at ext. 22900 to initiate the process for documenting, assessing and implementing your individual accommodation needs.


Topic Outline
1. Communicating professionally as a paralegal

  • Using general citation rules such as McGill's
  • Using plain language
  • Avoiding jargon
  • Finding and using the right word
  • Persuasive and analytical writing
  • Achieving high standards of grammar and style
2.  Specific legal documents
  • Retainers
  • Authorizations
  • Affidavits
  • Pleadings
  • Letters to clients
  • Memos
3.  Applying legal analysis and writing skills to substantive problems under the
  • Consumer Protection Act, 2002
  • Sale of Goods Act

Mode of Instruction
Students learn through interactive classroom lectures, discussion and group problem solving.

It is the student's responsibility to save documents, articles and notes that the instructor has provided on Blackboard or in class. Students will not be able to access Blackboard as of the last day of the student's class.

Prescribed Texts
Wilkie, H., & Roberts, J. Communication for Legal Professionals Emond Montgomery. ISBN# 9781552391396

Reference Material

  • Hacker, Diana, and Nancy I. Sommers. The Bedford Handbook. Ninth ed. Print.
  • Strunk, William, and E.B. White. The Elements of Style. 4th ed. Boston: Allyn and Bacon, 1999. Print.

Promotion Policy

Grading Policy
A+ 90%  to  100%
A 80%  to  89%
B+ 75%  to  79%
B 70%  to  74%
C+ 65%  to  69%
C 60%  to  64%
D+ 55%  to  59%
D 50%  to  54%
F 0%    to  49% (Not a Pass)
EXC Excellent
SAT Satisfactory
UNSAT Unsatisfactory

For further information, see a copy of the Academic Policy, available online (http://www.senecacollege.ca/academic-policy) or at Seneca's Registrar's Offices.

Modes of Evaluation

Assignments 30%
Mid-term evaluation 35%
Final evaluation 35%
Total 100%

Materials permitted into tests and exams are at the discretion of the instructor.

Students must attain a grade of at least 50% to pass the course.

Prior Learning Assessment
Please be advised that, in accordance with current Law Society of Upper Canada Paralegal Education Program Accreditation Policy guidelines (September, 2017, ss. 2.15 and 3.8), PLA for prior work experience is no longer permitted in any of the compulsory legal courses in the certificate program, including the field placement. All students, regardless of prior work-related training must fulfil the requirements of all components of the Paralegal Program.

Approved by: Sandra Noble