Brief Builder’s Workshop

Welcome to this multi-part video workshop presented by Legal Office Guru! I recommend you turn off all notifications and distractions and take notes while watching the videos below. Putting into practice what you learn here will be well worth your time and attention.

Video #1 – Before you start your brief

Watch the video to discover my recommendations on how you should start your next briefing project, then let me know in the Comments section below how you’d approach whatever special challenges the court’s rules are throwing your way .

Interested in the suggested Brief Requirements Checklist I talked about after the video lesson? I’ve included it as a free download below. Click the button below to receive it:

Video #2 – Doing things in the right order

While I usually applaud (and encourage) you to “get ahead of the curve” and do your brief setup tasks as early in the process as possible, there are a couple of exceptions. Create these elements too early, and you risk ruining your brief’s formatting. In this video, I explain why that is and when is the optimal time to create these.

Be sure to scroll down to the Comments section to ask me any questions.

Video #3 – Finishing & cross-checking

You’re down to the home stretch! Here are some things you’ll want to be especially mindful of to ensure you finish strong.

Be sure to scroll down to the Comments section to ask me any questions.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

  1. This is so true and so helpful. Thank you for sharing light on this and helping me establish a plan of action before getting the Brief. You are awesome!!!

  2. I have a question, I have retired as a Assistant Attorney General and I am going to travel and handle appeal briefs,. can I use Office 365 web version to draft the documents. Thanks . I fine something new in your videos every time I replay them.

    1. I would say, as far as roughing out the text of your briefs, the web version would be fine. Once you get to the stage of embedding TOA codes, modifying your Heading Styles and building a Table of Contents, though, you’d need to be working in the full desktop version.

      Glad the videos are helping!

  3. Looks like when I click on “click here to go to the Comments section ” instead of scrolling to the bottom, I get a 404 error.

  4. I have a general question re Tables of Contents. I’m working on a template that calls for the TOC to be built with the page number on the left-hand side of the page (0 cm) and a hanging indent at 1.27 cm for the heading text (no dotted line between the page number and heading text). I am using the built-in heading styles but cannot fathom out how to create the TOC. Is it possible? I’ve Googled it, to no avail.

    This is not a legal document, but I have found your website invaluable for setting up templates for use in the commercial property industry! Thank you!!

    1. Nicola: I’ve got a detailed tutorial on setting up TOCs here:

      As far as your specific settings go, I haven’t seen any setting that would allow for the page numbers to precede the entry on the left-hand margin. My recommendation would be to hack the cross-references function:

      Video: Hack Cross-References for TOC with left numbers (click to open in a new window)

      Unfortunately, this is a bit unwieldy for template purposes, since you’d literally have to re-build this TOC with every new document (assuming the headings change every time – maybe they don’t), but that’s my first thought, considering that TOC isn’t really configured to do what you’re needing it to do.

  5. Hi, Here’s my work-around to “construct” the TOC with page numbers on the left:
    1. Create a standard TOC (with numbers on the right.)
    2. Select and Copy the TOC.
    3. Paste (text only) to an appropriate area.
    4. Select the pasted results and Insert >> Table >> Convert Text to Table… (with separate text at tabs option.)
    5. Select right column with numbers, then Cut and Paste to left side of table.
    6. Hide table borders and format as desired.

    Not as elegant as Deborah’s use of Cross References and certainly not dynamic.

  6. Is there a way to download this video so I can watch it any time? I do not have much time at work and it makes it difficult to try to watch and learn piecemeal.

    Thanks and thanks for all you share. It has been so helpful.

  7. I love your video tutorials. That reminds me to finish your course I started a few months (year) ago. 🙂

  8. The practice management software we use has robust templating capability, so I have built templates using styles our entire team uses instead of using quick parts, auto correct, or auto text. However, it could be very handy to have some built-in building blocks in the templates. Question: are building blocks part of the document or part of one's Word subscription?

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}