Can Your Program Really Improve a Participant’s Writing?
The best answer to this question comes from Marilyn’s clients: They regularly ask her to return to work with new groups of participants. Clients invite Marilyn back because they see improvement in written work product. Participants see the program as time well spent.
William H. Kitchens, Managing Partner
Arnall Golden Gregory LLP
I’ve seen immediate improvement in my team’s email and other communications.
Amanda Helm Wright, Senior Counsel–Litigation and Legal Process
TD Ameritrade, Inc. (workshop for paralegals)
How Large a Group Can You Accommodate? What Is the Ideal Size?
There is no ideal size. Programs have ranged in size from fewer than 10 to more than 250 participants. Whatever the size, the program will be interactive. Participants will work on some exercises individually and some in small groups. They will also have the opportunity to ask questions in an atmosphere designed to encourage participation—whatever the group size.
The approximately 300 participants have expressed great appreciation for your level of expertise and your ability to “speak the PCAOB language.” The Business Writing Workshop was the highest rated session at this year’s event.
Kecia Williams Smith, Associate Director – Training
Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB)
Who Should Attend? Can Experienced Lawyers Benefit or Is This Just for New Lawyers? Should Partners Participate?
There are benefits when partners/senior supervisors attend. Their attendance
- demonstrates the importance of writing in the office
- allows for an exchange of views that benefits both junior and senior writers
- allows junior and senior writers to “speak the same language” when work product is reviewed.
I almost universally use all the rules Marilyn has, but cannot always explain why. As a partner, I need to be able to explain the rules not just apply them. The workshop will help me explain when reviewing other’s work.
Robert Gerstein, Partner
Marshall, Gerstein & Borun LLP
Attorneys who attended ranged from first year associates, who had not yet even received their bar exam results, to senior associates and a few partners. Feedback across all experience levels solidly registered between good and excellent. . . . [T]his workshop was a worthwhile investment for the firm.
Sheila Nolan Gartland, Partner
Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP
We have a range of experience among our attorneys, from . . . law school graduates just beginning their career to those who have been lawyers for 20+ years. From my observation, you know your audience and appeal to a wide range of needs.
Israel Goldowitz, Chief Counsel
Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
While I had expectations that your workshop would benefit our associates, having attended myself, I can verify that it also offered great insight and ideas to more experienced attorneys in your audience.
Robert E. Coletti, Partner,
Keating Muething & Klekamp PLL
Are Marilyn's Law Office Programs Just for Litigators?
When litigators are the primary audience for a program, many exercises and examples will come from litigation writing. When transactional lawyers are participating, at least some exercises and examples will come from transactional writing.
Excellent for overall writing, regardless of the type of law practiced. Most courses focus solely on litigation-oriented writings. This one did not, which is what made it useful.
Deborah Giss Stalker, Associate General Counsel
ACE Insurance (now Chubb)
The feedback from our firm’s lawyers and our clients was extremely positive and enthusiastic. Everyone appreciated that you made the topic fun. I was also pleased that the program was appropriate for litigators and non-litigators alike. You truly provided something for everyone!
Linda Acheson Pool, Esq., Chief Operating Officer
Tucker Arensberg, P.C.
Clear, helpful examples, good Q & A, incorporated class member comments well. Interesting use of PowerPoint. (Rare!) I would highly recommend this program. It was practical and tailored for corporate/transactional writing.
Kimberly Kesler Chytraus, Corporate Counsel, Dyno Nobel
Utah State Bar Corporate Counsel Section CLE
How Long Are Marilyn's Programs?
The short answer: Marilyn’s programs are as long as you want them to be. The longer answer: Most breakfast and lunch programs are 60 to 90 minutes long. Most workshops are 3 to 4 hours long. For Marilyn, the right amount of time is always “As much time as you can give me with your people.”
Longer sessions provide participants more opportunity for hands-on work on real-life exercises, both in small groups and individually. Small-group work allows participants to talk through writing issues and solutions, learning from each other. Longer sessions also allow time for participants to apply what they learn from the exercises to their own writing samples.
Virtual programs need to be handled differently. In most situations, a 90-minute virtual program (even a strongly interactive program) is not effective—it’s just too long.
Marilyn will customize your program to fit your schedule. She has presented 40-minute programs and she has presented full-day programs with additional days of one-on-one coaching. Give Marilyn a call to discuss your needs and together determine the appropriate amount of time for your program.
Do You Offer Remote Learning (Webinars, Zoom, Webex, Etc.)?
Thank you for the very informative and entertaining webinar: “Before Hitting Send: Tips for More Effective Email.” I have heard nothing but positive feedback from those who attended. The tips were invaluable, and your presentation style captured everyone’s attention. We look forward to working with you again in the future.
Mary C. Dirkes, Partner
Howard & Howard Attorneys PLLC
Can We Videoconference to Our Other Offices?
Yes, Marilyn’s clients frequently use videoconferencing or web conferencing to allow their other offices to participate in Marilyn’s programs.
[T]he workshop was very well-received, not only in person here in our Syracuse office, but across the Firm’s other offices by videoconference as well. I was particularly impressed with your seamless integration of the participants from other offices into the workshop.
Clifford G. Tsan, Member
Bond, Schoeneck & King, PLLC
This past summer we had 160 summer associates in 14 different offices . . . . We opted for videoconferencing, and I greatly appreciated your willingness to accommodate our needs. You seemed very comfortable using videoconference technology and with the idiosyncrasies that accompany it. . . . I was particularly impressed with your ability to engage the summer associates in the satellite offices, a detail other presenters typically overlook.
Kara E. Nelson, Esq., Director, Legal Recruiting and Development
Foley & Lardner LLP
Do You Schedule Weekend Programs?
Yes, programs can be scheduled on weekends.
Money well spent. Marilyn somehow breathed life into grammar, sentence and paragraph structure and practical approaches to effective written communication to a group of lawyers, most young, some less young, who were essentially required to attend an early Saturday morning seminar—nicely done.
Mike Philippi, Partner
Ungaretti & Harris (now Nixon Peabody International LLP)
The presentation was very informative and useful, doubtless due to the skillful and entertaining methods you utilized to hold the attention of lawyers who initially believed their Saturdays could be more productively employed in other pursuits. From their enthusiastic responses, you obviously changed their minds.
Gage Andretta, Partner
Wolff & Samson PC (now Chiesa Shahinian & Giantomasi PC)
How Can We Cut Down on Travel Costs?
Marilyn might be able to schedule your program when she is already planning to be in your city. Some of the travel costs would then be shared.
Also, once Marilyn schedules your program, she will see if she can add a program for another client in your area. Let Marilyn know if there are nearby firms or legal departments that might be interested in scheduling a program.
If you schedule a virtual program via web conferencing, no travel costs are incurred.
We Don’t Have Enough People for a Program. Could We “Share” You with Another Firm?
Yes. If you don’t have enough participants for your own in-house program, you can join with another law firm or legal department to present the program on a shared basis.
If you are in a mandatory CLE state, there is another possibility that offers marketing benefits: Invite your in-house-counsel clients. They will appreciate the CLE credits and you will have the opportunity to build client relationships.
Because we invited clients, we were able to include them in this very informative and entertaining program and provide them with CLE credits—at no cost to them, while providing us with an opportunity to spend time with our clients.
Linda Acheson Pool, Esq., Chief Operating Officer
Tucker Arensberg, P.C.
Can We Record the Training Program?
Can We Get CLE Credit?
The workshops have been approved in every state where approval has been sought. These states include Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Kansas, Maine, Minnesota, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, and Wisconsin.