How to write effectively and strategically to enhance your public profile and also improve business development

Note: no sessions of this course are currently planned

Write Your SuccessGet almost all of your LSUC Professionalism Credits in one program!  Register Now – Space is limited. This program contains 2.45 Professionalism Hours and 4.45 Substantive Hours.

An intensive one-day course for lawyers and business professionals on how to write effectively and strategically to improve business development – with the CBC's and National Post's Andrew Coyne; acclaimed authors Margaret Webb and Robert Rotenberg; and Star, Globe and Mail and National Post contributing writer, David Israelson.  

Writing strategically can drive business development, by increasing your visibility and establishing your expertise and brand with potential clients. In this intensive one-day course, you will learn how to write clear forceful prose, develop great story ideas, and turn those ideas into compelling articles and opinion pieces for traditional and online media as well as social media.

In this intensive one-day course, you will learn how to write clear forceful prose, develop great story ideas, and turn those ideas into compelling articles and opinion pieces for traditional and online media as well as social media.

WHO should register:

  • Lawyers and other professionals who want to improve their writing, enhance their professional reputation, develop their brand, and attract new business.

WHY register:

  • It’s no longer good enough to know how to write an effective legal brief or factum.  Successful professionals must know how to write strategically for online and traditional media platforms in order to enhance their profile and drive business development.

WHAT you will learn:

In this course, you will learn how to:

  • write clear and compelling prose to attract potential new clients
  • hone your personal writing style to write with more ease and creativity and build your personal brand
  • develop great story ideas for online and traditional media
  • write highly engaging articles, blogs and opinion pieces for online and traditional media
  • find and reach target audiences, online and in traditional media
  • pitch and sell editors on your ideas.

WHAT you will take away:

  • enhanced writing skills and insights into strategic writing for business development
  • ten secrets of highly effective writing
  • a practical Handbook with key media contacts, article samples, effective pitches, and writing exercises
  • constructive personalized written suggestions to improve your writing, from program director and acclaimed writing coach and author, Margaret Webb.

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8:30 am - Registration and breakfast 

9:00 - 9:45 am – CBC and National Post's, Andrew Coyne, on Ideas Editors Want

Andrew Coyne, Editorial and Comments Editor for The National Post and political commentator on CBC's The National's At Issue panel, shares his thoughts on how to develop compelling opinion pieces that engage editors.

9:45 - 10:30 am - Strategic Writing – The Who, Why and How

Jane Southren, Director of Professional Business Development at Lerners LLP and frequent business development blogger, moderates a panel with partners, Gillian Hnatiw and Jasmine T. Akbarali, on  how to target and write to key audiences to enhance your reputation and expand your business.


10:30- 10:45 am - Break


10:45 - 11:45 am - Turn Great Ideas into Articles that Engage

Program director and writing coach Margaret Webb shows you how to recognize great ideas and turn them into opinion pieces, blogs, columns and articles that will engage readers, establish you as an expert and ultimately drive business to you.

11:45 - 12:30 pm - How to Target Your Audience

Freelance journalist and non-practicing lawyer David Israelson shows you where to find audiences (online/traditional media), how to sell editors on your ideas and how to write effectively to engage those audiences to build your brand and business.

12:30 - 1:30 pm - Lunch with Celebrated Author and Criminal Lawyer Robert Rotenberg

Learn how this lawyer and critically acclaimed author of four novels uses story telling -- in his practice, op-ed pieces and fiction --  to engage juries, judges and readers. You will receive a complimentary signed copy of Stranglehold, set in the courtrooms of Toronto.

1:30 -3:00 pm - Ten Secrets to Effective Writing

Program director and writing coach Margaret Webb teaches highly effective techniques to cut the jargon, strengthen your sentences and make your writing soar.


3:00 - 3:15 pm – Break


3:15 - 4:45 pm - Master Writing Class with Robert Rotenberg

The critically acclaimed author shares four creative strategies to unlock your writing potential, write compelling prose with greater ease and develop a personable writing voice that will help establish your expertise and brand.

4:45 - 5:00 pm - Program wrap up

Q&A and chat with program instructors.

Presenter Biographies:

Program Director: Margaret Webb is an author, freelance journalist, screenwriter, university instructor and writing coach. She started her career as a magazine editor, has written for such publications as The Globe and Mail, Toronto Star, Chatelaine, Toronto Life, U of T Magazine, Maclean's etc. and authored two nonfiction books for major publishers in Canada and the US. She attended the Canadian Film Centre, was a Walt Disney Studios screenwriting fellow and co-wrote the feature film Margarita. She also teaches magazine and feature writing at Ryerson University, conducts writing seminars for businesses and organizations, and works one-on-one with clients as a writing coach. She graduated from University of Toronto and has a Masters degree in English and Creative Writing.

Guest Speaker: Andrew Coyne is the Editorial and Comments Editor for The National Post and political commentator on The National's "At Issue" panel. He has also written for Maclean's, Globe and Mail, The Wall Street Journal, National Review, Time and other publications. He graduated from University of Toronto and earned a Masters in Economics from the London School of Economics.

Lunchtime Speaker and Master Writing Class Instructor: Robert Rotenberg graduated from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, took a job as a magazine editor in Paris and returned home to launch his own magazine, TO. He returned to law in the 1990s, starting a small criminal law firm, but never abandoned the writing dream. He has written four legal thrillers: Old City Hall, The Guilty Plea, Stray Bullets and, his latest, Stranglehold, a novel set in the court rooms of Toronto and featuring a character inspired by ex-Mayor Rob Ford. Robert has also written opinion pieces for National Post and Toronto Star and teaches writing at the Humber College School for Writers.

Guest Instructor: David Israelson is a writer, editor, consultant and non-practising lawyer. He is Principal of Eon Communications and Research and a busy freelance journalist writing for such publications at The Toronto Star, National Post and Globe and Mail. He conducts communications training programs internationally and has written two books and served as a senior writer for the Premier of Ontario.

Guest Speaker: Jane Southren. Toronto-based Jane Southren practiced as a commercial litigator for more than 15 years, before retiring from the practice to take on the role of Director of Professional Business Development at Lerners LLP. In this role, Jane is responsible for providing lawyers in the Toronto office with the resources, direction, planning and follow-up required to develop and maintain sources of business.  In particular, she supports lawyers and practice groups in the development, budgeting and execution of unique and specific business development plans. Jane regularly writes about issues facing lawyers building practices in today’s market on her blog ( and is frequently engaged to speak to lawyers at all levels of seniority, privately and publicly, about topics relating to the development and maintenance of a self-sustaining law practice.

Guest Speaker: Gillian Hnatiw is a partner at Lerners LLP.  Her broad civil litigation practice focuses on medical and professional negligence, administrative law, employment law and, most particularly, claims arising from sexual, physical and psychological abuse, harassment and assault. She has appeared as counsel before all levels of court, including the Supreme Court of Canada, and before a variety of administrative tribunals and at numerous Coroner’s Inquests.  Most recently, Ms. Hnatiw acted as counsel to a group of physicians at the Coroner’s Inquest into the Death of Ashley Smith and will represent the Children’s Aid Society of Toronto at the pending Coroner’s Inquest into the Death of Katelynn Sampson.  She speaks regularly at legal conferences and seminars, is frequently interviewed by a wide range of publications, including The National Post and The Globe and Mail, and writes a monthly litigation column for Canadian Lawyer Magazine.

Guest Speaker: Jasmine T. Akbarali is a partner with Lerners LLP, where she practices in the Appellate Advocacy Group.  She specializes in appeals and litigation opinions in a wide range of areas, including commercial disputes, constitutional challenges, professional liability, employment, insurance disputes, personal injury and lawyers’ professional and ethical duties.  Jasmine’s notable cases include Honda v. Keays, R. v. Summers, David Pelham, Warden of the Bowden Institution, et al. v. Omar Ahmed Khadr, Phillion v. Attorney General of Ontario, Law Society of Upper Canada v. Groia and Kerr v. Danier Leather Inc.,. She has appeared at all levels of court in Canada.  Jasmine is a former Supreme Court of Canada clerk and was the gold medallist of her law class at the University of Windsor.  In 2014, she was ranked as a “Local Litigation Star” by Benchmark Litigation Ranking – Canada Edition.  She was recognized by Lexpert as a “Rising Stars – Leading Lawyers Under 40” in 2009 and in 2010 as a “Litigation Lawyer to Watch”. The South Asian Bar Association named her “Female Lawyer of the Year” in 2009. Jasmine is a volunteer screener for Pro Bono Law Ontario’s Supreme Court of Canada pro bono program. Jasmine also is a vice present of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association and a past director of the George Hull Centre for Children and Families, a full service children’s mental health centre in Toronto. Jasmine is a mother of four, a travel junkie and a committed yogi.

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