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Business Communication for Lawyers: Legal Writing

UK Ministry of Justice | Free | Skills Development Series

Course Overview

Today’s technology allows us to speak or write to anyone on the planet in real time, whenever we like, and through a diverse array of communication channels. Whilst this has benefits, it often results in inconsistent and unclear communication, especially in the complex areas of business and law.

In our modern business world, in order to have our opinions and insights respected, it is crucial to communicate in a way that is precise, eloquent and clear. Clients expect their legal partners to communicate effectively using modern English, not traditional Legal English. Often the most impactful lawyers (and the most well-regarded) are those who truly understand a concept and are able to articulate themselves with simplicity and clarity, rather than using jargon and Latin phrasing.

Through immersive, real-world case studies, this course will help you to:

  • Identify modern approaches to communicating;
  • Review clients’ expectations of law firm communications;
  • Evaluate the fundamentals of a plain-language approach to communication; and
  • Plan your approaches to communicating with clients.

The UK Ministry of Justice is a major government department at the heart of the justice system in the United Kingdom, and the GREAT Legal Services campaign leads our work on promoting UK legal services overseas.

This is the first course offered by the GREAT Legal Services campaign working with Africa Legal, and we want to promote opportunities for collaboration and shared learning between UK legal expertise and our partners in other countries.

To learn more about the GREAT Legal Services campaign, please visit the homepage here. To stay abreast of events and networking opportunities, please follow the GREAT Legal Services LinkedIn page.

Is this course for you?

This course was developed to enhance the communication skills of the modern African lawyer by introducing the foundations of plain language communication and encouraging reflection on current approaches to communicating with stakeholders. The course is designed for lawyers and legal professionals at any level and the tools, templates, case studies and methodologies are broadly applicable to all lawyers.

Course Contributors

Jennifer Chimanga (née Mbaluto)

Partner and Co-Head of East Africa​ at Clifford Chance

Jennifer Mbaluto is a Partner and Co-Head of East Africa at Clifford Chance LLP. Based in London, Jennifer has over 15 years’ experience of advising on cross-border M&A and PE transactions and has a particular focus on Africa and the TMT sector. She is dual-qualified in Kenya and in England & Wales.

Jennifer supports a range of the firm’s pro bono clients including Invictus Games Foundation, Hope and Homes for Children, and International Lawyers for Africa.

Prior to joining Clifford Chance, Jennifer was a senior lawyer at a leading Kenyan law firm where her practice focused on cross-border M&A in Sub-Saharan Africa.

Jennifer is a Trustee on the Board of AMREF Health Africa UK, the UK affiliate of Africa's leading health charity, AMREF Health Africa.

Sherisa Rajah

Global Labor & Employment Counsel at Vista

Sherisa is an international employment lawyer, having practiced at leading international law firms from 2007 to 2019, whereafter Sherisa joined Elements Global Services, an Employer of Record to build out the employment law team and services. Most recently, Sherisa joined Vista and is responsible for its employment law needs.

Sherisa has spoken on television and radio on topical matters of change employment law through the years. She is equally no stranger to conferences in the same vein. She has been rated in international legal directories for her transactional employment law work.

Ronald Mutasa

Partner at Manokore Attorneys, DLA Piper Africa

Ronald is a Partner at Manokore Attorneys. He has extensive experience in Projects and Infrastructure, with a particular specialisation in Public Private Partnerships (PPP) across various sectors; infrastructure development, power projects, public procurement and dispute resolution.

Ronald has advised both private clients who include DFIs, lenders and sponsors, project developers, as well as various government departments and procuring entities, from pre-feasibility stage up to project approval by central authorities.

Ronald has emerged as one of only a few PPP lawyers in Zimbabwe. He is an IFLR 1000 ranked lawyer within the Energy and Infrastructure Sector. Ronald is also a Corporate Rescue Practitioner and Liquidator registered with the Council of Estate Administrators and Insolvency Practitioners. He is also a full member of the newly established Insolvency & Restructuring Association of Zimbabwe (IRAZ).

This course is certified by the United Kingdom CPD Standards Office, and may be applicable to individuals who are members of, or are associated with, professional bodies. The course carries 1.5 CPD points.

This course includes:

  • 90 minutes worth of learning with resources for additional study.
  • Discussion forums – meet colleagues from around the world and start to build your professional network.
  • Real-world case studies and scenarios – you will have the opportunity to experience real-world scenarios in applying your learning.
  • Option to save data – switch off the video and download or read the transcript.
  • Ability to access this self-paced course wherever and whenever it suits you.

  • Frequently Asked Questions:

    What web browser should I use?

    The Open edX platform works best with current versions of Chrome, Firefox, Safari, or with Internet Explorer version 9 and above.
    See our list of supported browsers for the most up-to-date information.

    Who should take this course? 

    This course is aimed at law students, graduates and junior lawyers in Africa.

    How long will it take me to complete the course?

    The course should take you about one hour, not including optional activities, discussions and extra reading materials. Once you are enrolled in the course, you can work through the content at your own pace. Feel free to access any part of the content at any time.

    How do I access the course?

    This course is free to access. To access the course please sign in to Africa-Legal. If you don’t yet have an account with Africa Legal follow the steps to sign up and then press the enrol button.

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