In 33 years as an attorney, this course is the best instruction I have taken on legal writing.
Baltazar Baca, Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division
Most valuable: Specific, well thought-out advice in response to common problems. Everyone knows legal writing needs improvement, few have focused solutions.
Matt Anderson, McAndrews, Held & Malloy, Ltd.
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)
As a former high school English teacher, former legal writing instructor for paralegals, former State Supreme Court clerk and current transactional attorney, I thought this seminar would be boring. While I knew the rules/suggestions provided, it was a great refresher and was quite entertaining. Worth the time away from the office. Great use of PowerPoint.
Lisa Berden, Miller, Canfield, Paddock and Stone
Lively, interesting presentation. She uses good, real-world examples to drive her points home. Excellent reminder of the rules of good writing. Excellent scheme to uncover questions—the team approach.
John Menke, Assistant Chief Counsel, Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation
Most valuable: Learned how to make writing more concise and coherent. Able to teach old dog new tricks.
Susan Smith, Senior Policy Counsel, Department of Justice, Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section
The handbook is a great resource—not just a leave behind but a good reference and probably a good way to get “unstuck” as we go forward.
Joyce Gresko, Foley & Lardner LLP (participated via videoconferencing)
Very helpful to take some of the advice provided and apply it to my own writing. Very practical tips. Engaging speaker . . . kept the program moving.
James Klahr, Assistant Attorney General, Missouri Attorney General’s Office
Compelling, interesting, and practicable. The speaker actively engages with the participants. Excellent speaker.
Malcolm Fliege, Associate Director, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB)
Business Writing: Plenary/Annual Inspections Training (250+ participants)
Lots of examples and dialogue; good quick pace. Good sense of humor to help avoid becoming dry.
Matt Dalen, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB)
Business Writing: Breakout/Annual Inspections Training
Kept me interested for a solid 3+ hours. She is informative, thorough, and specific (without being “nit-picky”). Your use of media was impeccable!
Carrie Logan, Preti Flaherty Beliveau & Pachios, Chartered, LLP
Marilyn’s presentation is not pretentious and is very easy to understand. Too often writing seminars are led by arrogant grammar snobs. I enjoyed every minute and look forward to putting Marilyn’s tips into practice.
Tim Horton, Partner, Ungaretti & Harris (now Nixon Peabody International LLP)
Knowledgeable and very approachable, as well as entertaining.
Michele Bernstein, ACE Insurance USA Legal (now Chubb)
Your presentation style makes it easier to appreciate the material and avoid resistance/defensiveness.
Jean Everett, Partner, Hiscock & Barclay (now Barclay Damon LLP)
Good, practical tips. Appropriate use of humor and interesting anecdotes. Great use of visuals in PowerPoint.
Rich Tilghman, Partner, Ungaretti & Harris (now Nixon Peabody International LLP)
I enjoyed the activities and examples—as well as your pictures—throughout the presentation. It kept the class engaged.
Heather Drye, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB)
Business Writing: Breakout/Annual Inspections Training
Marilyn was articulate, well versed, confident and kept our attention for 5 hours (!). She takes a dry subject and through real-world examples makes it germane and interesting.
Kyle Treadway, Utah State Bar Corporate Counsel Section CLE
It was helpful seeing the examples and walking through those together.
Sara Minges, Senior Compliance Enforcement Analyst, North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Legal & Regulatory
Marilyn facilitated discussion so that no question was too small/foolish to ask. Great examples—great presentation of ideas overall.
Michael Mahoney, Preti Flaherty Beliveau & Pachios, Chartered, LLP
Most valuable: Being forced/encouraged to re-write sentences vs. simply being spoon-fed the better versions. Information is presented very clearly. And it is tailored appropriately to the audience.
Dan Marposon, Department of Justice, Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section
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 Dirkes, Partner, Howard & Howard Attorneys 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
Thank you for leading the effective email training for our attorneys and staff recently. The feedback we received from the participants was very positive. You managed to convey the importance of the topic while still being engaging and professional. We also appreciate your accommodating both of our offices on the same day by agreeing to host a session via the web. We look forward to working with you again in the future.
Lisa A. Pavia, Director, Business and Professional Development, Van Ness Feldman LLP (in person for DC; web program for Seattle)
Thank you for the phenomenal presentation you delivered at our Firm . . . [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
The pace was quick, keeping the presentation interesting.
Jacinto Nunez, Associate, Vorys, Sater, Seymour and Pease LLP (participated via videoconference)
Provides a structured approach to improving one’s writing . . . worthwhile and useful.
Doug Franklin, Senior Counsel, Peckar & Abramson (participated via webconference)
[Marilyn] has structured a consulting process that will yield a strong result for her clients. Her willingness to effectively customize the program content to the context of the company, her direct knowledge of the challenges within the legal realm, coupled with her engaging and surprisingly witty facilitation style, all combine to give her high credence.
Ivy Kusinga, Head of Learning & Development, ACE Insurance (now Chubb)
I like that Marilyn used examples of NERC’s filings and broke down what we could improve to make the docs more easy to read. I would highly recommend Marilyn—great presentation and very useful information and she offers simple suggestions that make a great difference in writing.
Marilani Huling Alt, Senior Legal Assistant, North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) Legal & Regulatory
Good use of examples and integration of our office work. Good sensitivity to different types/audiences for writing. Good presentation skills and effective use of written handouts and presentation slides.
Steve Burns, Nuclear Regulatory Commission
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
The presentation offered a variety of lecture, group and individual exercises that made it very interesting. I found it especially useful that you used examples of writing from our firm.
Terri Patton, Paralegal, Carpenter, Hazlewood, Delgado & Wood
Most valuable: Using concrete examples from our field was particularly effective. Highly recommended!
Renda Wiener, M.D., Professor, Boston University School of Medicine, and Associate Director, Veterans Administration Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research
Effective Email Programs
Your program was engaging and kept the participants interested and entertained from start to finish. The program received excellent evaluations, praising the useful examples and practical advice, as well as commending your skills as a speaker.
Ann Rappleye, Director, City Bar Center for CLE
Your presentation style was engaging, concise, and packed with many basic, practical tips delivered in a relatively short period of time. The atttorneys came away with tactics they could use immediately to improve their email communications.
Lorraine C. Sullivan, Director of Marketing, Farrell Fritz PC
I wanted to let you know about the outstanding feedback on your recent program. . . . Those who attended have commented on how practical the course was and how they could put your suggestions into practice immediately. . . . It was truly a valuable course.
Nancy L. Rider, Enforcement Training Coordinator, SEC Division of Enforcement
Very practical approach with good examples of outcomes/uh-ohs
Jennifer Carr, Attorney, SEC Division of Enforcement
Most valuable: review of specific suggestions for emails
Kathy Gaddes, Associate General Counsel & Corporate Secretary, AmerisourceBergen Corporation
Marilyn was very clear and effective in relating best practices in both internal and external environments.
Susan Caracio, Paralegal, King & Spalding
Learned a lot about what to do and not to do! Informative and interactive.
Abby Carney, Business Immigration Case Coordinator, Pierce Atwood LLP
Very clear, funny, informative, effective use of visuals. Learned something new (BCC trick).
Esmeralda Romero-Roberts, Secretary, King & Spalding
It would be good to present at a Member’s meeting.
Michael McBride, Partner, Van Ness Feldman
Thank you so much for leading your workshop on effective email writing for the attorneys at our firm. . . . Your use of real life email mistakes and inefficiencies made the program more meaningful for practitioners. The feedback was very positive and we look forward to inviting you back in the future.
Aisha Greene, Director of Attorney Development and Training, Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP
Using my writing to demonstrate the concepts taught in class was very helpful. I found Marilyn’s approach to teaching very effective and pragmatic.
Anthony Archeval, Senior Trial Attorney, Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division
Ability to look over and receive feedback on my own writing was very valuable. Will be helpful for future products.
Emily Burgis, Associate Counsel, North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC)
It was a lot like getting a stronger eye glass prescription: I could see before but now I have new clarity that lets me see the familiar in a new way. Most valuable: Discussion about alternative approaches, rather than dogmatic “this is right” vs. “this is wrong”.
Carmelo G. Chimera, Ungaretti & Harris (now Nixon Peabody International LLP)
It was very helpful to take a piece of writing I had just completed, actually go through it line-by-line, and hear Marilyn’s thoughts and feedback. It identified some consistent patterns in my writing that could stand to be altered.
Craig Davis, Drinker Biddle & Reath
Very helpful—pragmatic feedback on real-world writing sample.
Kathy Milam, Intellectual Property Counsel, Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.
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)
Marilyn is organized, responsive, well-spoken, and a highly effective teacher. She uses images, examples, and writing samples to explain concepts and her energized approach draws in course participants.
During a 90-minute training for our first-year associates, Marilyn covered a wide array of topics and discussed the types of writing that a junior associate would do each day (not just how to draft the perfect appellate brief). She kept up a good pace—never rushing or letting a topic drag on too long—and the associates were so engaged that they wished the training had been longer!
Benjamin Franklin, Professional Development Manager, Nutter McClennen & Fish LLP
Those who were present as well as those who participated through teleconferencing were consistent in their praise for your program. Participants were particularly enthusiastic about the real-life and hands-on exercises. . . . You cover the challenging topic of writing in a professional and effective manner that reflects your knowledge of the realities of law firm life.
Edward P. McCreery, III, Member, Pullman & Comley LLC
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
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
[T]remendous amount of material covered quickly and very well. Excellent, approachable and not preaching. Felt like she really understood our business.
Steven J. Thompson, Partner, Ungaretti & Harris (now Nixon Peabody International LLP)
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.
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
I received many positive comments from those who attended and also from partners who have already seen improvement in the writing of several associates. From the perspective of a managing partner, it is great to see this immediate return on investment.
William H. Kitchens, Managing Partner, Arnall Golden Gregory LLP
Every legal writing workshop I’ve attended has barely gone beyond the obvious (passive/active, use Bluebook, proofread for typos). This workshop was genuinely helpful, informative and engaging. The perfect workshop for incoming associates!
Tara Waters, Allen & Overy
Thanks once again for running the writing workshop for our summer associate class. The feedback from the participants was overwhelmingly positive and the content covered was exactly what they needed to get off on the right foot. Look forward to working with you again.
David D. Simon, Manager of Lawyer Development, Hunton & Williams LLP (now Hunton Andrews Kurth LLP)
The workshop attendees ranged from summer associates to senior level equity partners. It included litigators and transactional attorneys. I must admit I had some skepticism as to how you were going to conduct a workshop which would be relevant to all. As you know I could only stay for the opening hour . . . . What I saw in that short time convinced me that you had things well in hand and could provide four hours of value to the nearly 70 attorneys who attended. . . . Your professionalism and thoroughness are exemplary and make you very easy to work with. We look forward to working with you again in the future.
Marjory G. Basile, Miller, Principal and Chancellor of Miller Canfield University, Miller Canfield, Paddock and Stone
We thank you for your fine legal writing skills program last month. The morning program was presented live to lawyers in our New York office as well as sent by webcast to our offices in New Jersey, Washington, D.C. and Miami. The program was interesting, effective and relevant to our concerns regarding the writing of e-mails and court submissions. The feedback in the various offices was consistently positive. In the afternoon, you gave one-on-one coaching to several of our New York associates who found the sessions very helpful. Howard M. Rosen, Partner, Peckar & Abramson
Your program . . . exceeded our expectations. The content was very well organized and well-presented. Most importantly, the material and context you provided was specifically configured to our needs. Everyone I spoke with who participated indicated that the presentation was both very informative and fun.
Michael J. Pomianek, Shareholder, Wolf, Greenfield & Sacks, P.C. (Lunch & Learn)
Thank you again for presenting an excellent legal writing workshop to our attorneys. . . Your approach was professional, organized and well-tailored to the audience.
Susan M. Spaeth, Managing Partner for Operations, Townsend and Townsend and Crew LLP (now Kilpatrick Townsend & Stockton LLP)
Most valuable: Humor infused with learning. An openness to others’ ideas. Valuable time spent.
Karen Borofsky, Director of Administrative Services, Lando & Anastasi
I was fearful that it wouldn’t be contoured towards technical nature of patent law. But it was!
Angela Caligiuri, Harness, Dickey & Pierce
It was a great presentation: very informative and kept me alert. The speaker was also great: very clear, funny, respectful, etc.
Dawn M. David, Brinks, Gilson & Lione
Very engaging: practical, real examples, interactive.
Sarah M. Gates, Partner, Lando & Anastasi
Engaging speaker made a boring topic interesting and sometimes humorous; very helpful for re-evaluating rules of language we thought were set in stone.
Teresa Hopkins, Technology Specialist, Lando & Anastasi
Most valuable: Thinking about aspects of writing I haven’t thought about in a long time. Answers questions everyone has, but no one asks.
David Roccio, Lando & Anastasi
Thank you for an informative and productive workshop . . . . [T]he feedback from the participants was very positive with high marks all around. The morning session was good, but the one-on-one sessions were appreciated even more. . . . [M]ost significant to me as the department leader, my lawyers saw and acknowledged how the clarity and effectiveness of their written work product could be improved.
Meir Y. Blonder, General Counsel/Chief Intellectual Property Counsel, Leviton Manufacturing Co., Inc.
Marilyn Bush LeLeiko is a real pro when it comes to teaching lawyers and paralegals how to write well. She approaches this often daunting task with energy, enthusiasm and creativity. Marilyn has the experience and “teaching smarts” to tailor her presentation, with great results, to any sort of audience, whether it be a law firm, a corporate legal department or a regulatory agency.
Steve J. Katz, Second VP/Associate General Counsel, Mass Mutual Financial Group
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, ACE Insurance USA Legal (now Chubb)
I asked Marilyn to come into Apple to share her expertise on legal writing with our Contracts Negotiators. She was wonderful. The team was very appreciative of her patience, expertise and her integrity. Her course materials are very helpful in our everyday work, as well as insightful. I have no problems recommending Marilyn and her course. We hope to have her back.
Michael Taloff, Manager, Education Contracts, Apple, Inc.
[T]he writing workshop you conducted for our Tax Department was terrific. EVERY participant comment was positive. You made a tough topic interesting and the four hours flew by. Thank you again.
Frank A. Yanover, Senior Tax Counsel, General Electric Corporation
My team and I truly appreciated your recent presentation on legal writing. We have frequently referenced your teachings in our meetings and interactions since the session; your practical tips stuck with us. I’ve seen immediate improvement in my team’s email and other communications.
I would recommend your course to any in-house legal department or law firm. In fact, I hope to have you join us again as our staff grows. You make the topic enjoyable with your engaging style and examples culled from our writing. Your preparation for the session helped us learn more and stay tuned throughout the four-hour session, which seem to fly by.
Amanda Helm Wright, Senior Counsel–Litigation and Legal Process, TD Ameritrade, Inc. (workshop for paralegals)
Most valuable: (1) Use of real-world writing samples to demonstrate skills. (2) Engaging sense of humor. Very worthwhile.
Jim Williams, General Motors
Extremely thorough. Great practical information. Great written materials.
Kimberly Newton, Utah State Bar Corporate Counsel Section CLE
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
Very practical and easy to apply in your writing. I wish it was longer—it is a very fast pace for the 1/2 day program.
Kristen Smith, Corporation Counsel, Syracuse Department of Law
The presentation was one of the best I’ve participated in. The individual and group exercises were a great way to test the lessons learned in the workshop.
Matthew Haslinger, Department of Justice, Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section
Excellent, informative and entertaining. While directed to legal writing, workshop would be useful to all writers.
Errol Krass, Administrative Patent Judge, Patent and Trademark Office, Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences, Department of Commerce, General Counsel’s Office
Program did an exceptional job of covering the fundamentals of both professional and everyday writing. A great resource for refreshing the way you think about the writing and editing process—especially for email exchange.
Emily Burgis, Associate Counsel, North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC)
The attorneys in our office are experienced and skilled writers, but you offered ideas that will enable all of us to further improve our writing. You have an impressive command of the principles of grammar and style, but also a refreshingly flexible approach to writing that focuses above all on the needs of the reader. You presented a great deal of material in a half-day workshop, and you employed exercises that illustrated your points in a really compelling way. Thank you for a very successful workshop.
Gary A. Sultz, Senior Counsel, Social Security Administration, Office of the General Counsel
Ms. LeLeiko’s presentation was very well organized, easy to follow, and practical. She was very engaging, had excellent exercises, provided excellent handouts, and answered questions extremely well.
Gerrie Hardcastle, Esq. Nevada Attorney General’s Office
Marilyn was able to get her message across to both lawyers and nonlawyers! Very impressive!
Beliue Risher, Communications Manager, Department of Justice, Asset Forfeiture and Money Laundering Section
I really liked the discussion of e-mail. That is a topic frequently ignored, but very important. Your use of the PowerPoint slides was very effective.
Morris Woodruff, Chief Law Judge/Secretary, Missouri Public Service Commission (NAGTRI workshop for the Missouri Attorney General’s Office)
I enjoyed the practical exercises of revising examples and comparing the results. The entire presentation (both speaker and materials) does an excellent job of drawing one’s attention to ways they can improve their own writing, no matter experience levels.
Leigh Lieberman, Syracuse Department of Law
On behalf of NAGTRI, I personally would like to thank you and express my gratitude for your assistance in making the NAGTRI Appellate Advocacy training in Las Vegas, NV a success. I have received great feedback about the training and your skills as a facilitator. The program would not have been a success without your efforts and time.
Amy Tenney Curren, Director, National Attorneys General Training & Research Institute
Over 15 years ago I took one of Marilyn’s seminars. Her program was excellent. In a one day session with Marilyn, I learned writing techniques that I still remember vividly and use today. Subsequent to taking Marilyn’s seminar, I retained her to conduct a one day writing seminar for my firm’s paralegal staff. Again, I found her training techniques and the information she imparted to be outstanding. While Marilyn’s primary focus is on legal writing skills, I feel that her information and approach could be applied to non-legal writing, too.
Laurie Burk, Director of Paralegal Services, Patton Boggs
Marilyn is knowledgeable and a good teacher. She gave a wonderful presentation. It was enjoyable and fun. Thank you!
Gloria Asport, Decision Writer, Social Security Administration, Office of Disability Adjudication and Review
Well organized and detailed. It was perfect! Most valuable: The various stories and examples.
Dana Brown, Legal Support Specialist, TD Ameritrade
She made the class enjoyable, funny, and educational.
Laura Cilani, Paralegal, Carpenter, Hazlewood, Delgado & Wood
[T]he practical advice was presented in a concise and practical manner, and one that provided take-away suggestions useful in their email communication.
The paralegals thought the article on your website, “Before Hitting “SEND”: Ten Tips for More Effective Email,” was very thorough. They were pleased that the one-hour session expanded on the article and included group discussion.
I have already recommended this session to other paralegal managers. The seminar was a good value in terms of content and attendance, and I look forward to working with you again.
Carolyn M. Hilgers, Director of Paralegal Services, King & Spalding
When I received a request to attend a “legal writing workshop”, my initial reaction was “why should I go? Paralegals at Jenner & Block don’t do any legal writing.”
The topics covered in your workshop were more relevant than any other that I have attended. . . .You effectively incorporated aspects of grammar, sentence structure, and paragraph construction into one interesting afternoon workshop. I will never look at an email the same way again. My favorite part was the “team competition” to revise that wordy sentence. Paralegals (along with lawyers) are nothing if not competitive.
You are a wonderful communicator and an excellent teacher.
Julie Shaw, Paralegal, Jenner & Block
Very good presentation. Speaker kept us engaged and covered large range of topics.
Kay Warren, Paralegal, Hinckley, Allen & Snyder
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)
Business Writing: Plenary/Annual Inspections Training
Well-spoken and friendly; made the training fun with good slides/pictures but also hit a lot of key points.
Erik Otto, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB)
Business Writing: Plenary/Annual Inspections Training (250+ participants)
Most valuable: Reviewing challenging sentence structures and issues with grammar. These are items I face daily in writing comment forms and reports. The handout is a wonderful take-away.
Meghan Hammond, Public Company Accounting Oversight Board (PCAOB)
Business Writing: Breakout/Annual Inspections Training
I found [Marilyn’s] presentation to be well organized, thoughtfully presented and very relevant to the needs of our group. Marilyn did a wonderful job soliciting input from the audience and addressing questions/comments as they arose. I would strongly recommend Marilyn to any organization considering her as a speaker.
Thomas Eagan, Chair, Business, Industry and Government Committee, Rhode Island Society of CPAs