The Write House joins Clarity International.

Clarity is an international association that promotes plain legal English. Founded in 1983, Clarity is a worldwide group of lawyers and others who advocate using plain language in place of legalese.

The Write House has joined Clarity International. As pioneers of the Plain-English movement in Nigeria, The Write House shares similar goals with Clarity International.

Both The Write House and Clarity International promote the use of good, clear English by the legal community. According to Clarity International in the maiden issue of its Clarity Journal, it hopes to achieve this aim by:

1. avoiding archaic, obscure and over-elaborate language in legal work;

2. drafting legal documents in English that is both certain in meaning and easily understandable;

3. exchanging ideas and precedents, not to be followed slavishly but to give guidance in producing good written and spoken legal English; and

4. exerting a firm but reasonable influence on the style of legal English, with the hope of achieving change in fashion.

The Write House democratizes access to law by promoting plain English in legal communication and writing. The Write House has been doing this by exposing lawyers and others to international best practices in legal writing.

Before joining Clarity, The Write House was recently awarded global recognition by Global Legal English, the international organization behind Test of Legal English Skills (TOLES). This came after several years as the accredited representative in Nigeria of TOLES.

Nigerian Lawyers now ready to take advocacy to the next level.

Nigerian lawyers can keep up with ongoing legal developments in the world by exposing themselves to best practices. That is why lawyers need to keep improving their professional skills. Some lawyers took that step recently when they participated in a brief-writing workshop organized in Lagos.

The workshop, Brief Writing Masterclass, was organized by The Write House. The 2-day training held 25-26 March 2015 at Sheraton Lagos. It attracted participants from various law firms across the country.

At the workshop, participants were trained to write winning briefs. Chinua Asuzu, The Write House Dean, facilitated the training. His book, Anatomy of a Brief, was the manual for the masterclass.

The participants reported that they were pleased with the training. Emeka Anolefo, a senior partner from Emeka Anolefo & Co, said the “training is a must for all lawyers. The book, Anatomy of a Brief, is loaded and rich. I feel satisfied being part of the class. I learnt so much. I hope to be [even] better after reading the book. Great class.”

At the end of the workshop, The Write House presented certificates to the participants.

The Write House is the acknowledged authority in Nigeria on legal-writing curriculum and pedagogy.

Brief Writing Masterclass- Learn to write killer briefs.

Chelsea Hotel Abuja, 24-25 June 2015

Brief Writing Masterclass is boldly interdisciplinary in its approach to persuasive writing. Communications theory, linguistics, logic, psychology, rhetoric, and semantics combine with law to make this course absolutely peerless.

Winning Briefs, Winnowing Issues

To write a winning brief, you must first winnow the issues.

Justice Antonin Scalia of the US Supreme Court agrees that issue formulation is key to writing persuasive briefs. Following is an excerpt from Scalia’s interview with Bryan Garner, the famed legal-writing coach:

Garner: Herbert Wechsler is reputed to have said that he would spend half his time writing a brief just on crafting the issues. Does that make sense to you?
Scalia: That makes total sense. That makes total sense.
Garner: Why?
Scalia: That’s what the case is about, especially at the Supreme Court level. We don’t care who wins or loses. We care about what the legal issue is that is going to decide not just this case but hundreds of other cases. So the crafting of that issue, “Look, this is the point of the controversy. This is the core of it.” Man, that’s everything. The rest is background music.

Attend Brief Writing Masterclass to learn how to write winning briefs, submissions, and written addresses.

Dates: Wednesday 24-Thursday 25 June 2015.
Time: 9am-5pm each day.
Venue: Chelsea Hotel Abuja.
Before 14 June 2015: N150,000.
14-20 June 2015: N175,000
After 20 June 2015: N200,000.

Please pay to The Write House, 0153954433, GTBank.
• If you pay by online transfer, enter your full name in the Reference or Remarks column of your bank’s online platform, or email transfer advice to
• If you deposit cash or cheque, scan and email deposit slip to
• Once we confirm your payment, we shall register you and prepare your certificate in advance.

Brief Writing Masterclass

Course Highlights

Not this- But this

Severe is never a verb. You cannot severe your relationship with the firm. You may sever your relationship with the firm, or sever your ties to your homeland.

Surety is not pronounced shotee. Surety is pronounced shor’ti. Bite the r. Pronounce the r.

You can’t reply a letter or an email. You reply to a letter or an email.

Dear Ma is wrong. Write Dear Madam. (And, whether in speech or in writing, prefer madam or ma’am to ma.)

Corrupt politicians and contractors can’t eat money. Eating always involves chewing and swallowing. Corrupt politicians and contractors embezzle or steal money. And yes, stealing in public office is corruption. You can’t eat money, even if you’re neither a politician nor a contractor, and even if you’re as honest as Abraham Lincoln. You spend or waste money.

All what I’m saying, all what she’s doing etc are bad English. The correct expressions are all that I’m saying or all I’m saying, and all that she’s doing or all she’s doing. Nix all what.

There is no such time as 12am or 12pm. 12 o’clock is either 12midday (12noon) or 12 midnight. You can also simply say midday, noon, or midnight. Let’s meet at noon. Let’s dine at midday. Let’s dance at midnight. The meeting will start at 12noon. Breakfast ends at 12midday. Dinner ends at 12midnight.

You can’t be afraid of your life, can you? I love my life. I’m not afraid of it. When threatened, I may be afraid for my life or afraid for my health or afraid for my safety.

Surgeons don’t operate patients—they operate on patients. So you can’t say she was operated. Say instead she was operated on.

Ask and axe are pronounced differently. Ask is pronounced ask; axe is pronounced aks. Asked is pronounced askt.

Equipment is not a countable noun, so you can’t say an equipment or equipments, no matter how many items of equipment you’re referring to.

Furniture is not a countable noun, so you can’t say a furniture or furnitures, no matter how many items of furniture you mean.

I look forward to see you is wrong. The correct expression is I look forward to seeing you.

If I am chanced, when I am chanced are such horrible expressions they would make the angels weep! Consider If I have the chance, if I have the time, when you get the chance, when you have time.

I don’t know it off head is not English. The Queen of England would cringe! She would be mad at you if you said that. To be off one’s head is to be mentally deranged. You’re not mad, I’m sure, even if you madden the Queen. Say I don’t know it by heart. The Queen would then smile.

Quit lying: she is not on seat, he is not on seat etc. That’s bad English. Besides, on an unclear line, someone might think you said she is not on heat. Say she is not available right now.

Where are you at? is, to quote Bryan Garner, a “badge of illiteracy.” Say where are you?

Bindingness is not an English word, no matter how many times you encounter it in some law reports. Try binding force. If it doesn’t work, redraft.

Pant trousers or pants trousers is rubbish. The British refer to that item of clothing as trousers; the Americans pants– choose one.

Flat apartment has been creeping into the lexicon of the linguistically challenged real-estate market. Apartment is American dialect for flat, the British term. Choose one.

Don’t say how it looks like. Say what it looks like or how it looks.