Skip to Content
Primary information about event

Storytelling for Lawyers: A Narrative Approach with William Bernhardt


Live webinar with chat*
includes 30 day replay

9:00 am – 10:30 am (Pacific)
10:00 am – 11:30 am (Mountain)
11:00 am – 12:30 pm (Central)
12:00 pm – 1:30 pm (Eastern)
1:00 pm – 2:30 pm (Atlantic)


*This program features real-time audio of the presenter with synchronized presentation slides, and a chat feature that allows for live Q & A. SK attendees please verify whether you align with Central (MB) or Mountain (AB) time based on season and location.

Registration Fee

Save $25
Register on or before June 29, 2018
$135.00 + HST


Register after June 29, 2018
$160.00 + HST


ON: This program contains 1.5 Substantive hours.

BC: This program has been approved for 1.5 CPD hours.

SK: This program has been approved for 1.5 CPD hours.

NB: This program has been approved for 1.5 CPD hours.

Lawyers in all other mandatory CPD jurisdictions may count their actual attendance at the program towards their CPD requirement/plan.

Seminar Partners is an Accredited Provider of Professionalism Content by the Law Society of Ontario, and a pre-approved CPD Provider of the Law Society of British Columbia.

Technical Information:

Live webinars allow you to hear faculty and see their presentation slides, and ask questions by chat. There is no video feed of the presenter(s). You will need a current web browser (Chrome 11, Safari 5 and up, Internet Explorer 8 and up - do not use Firefox), a wired (better than wireless) connection to the Internet of at least 2 Mbps, and Adobe Flash Player 12 or higher. You can test your internet speed/bandwidth here. You can find out whether you have Adobe Flash Player installed here. You can download the player directly here. If you miss the live program, you can access the archive, at your convenience, for 30 days.

Satisfaction Guarantee

Satisfaction Guarantee: At Seminar Partners, we guarantee the quality of our programs. In fact, 98% of our participants say they would recommend the program they have taken to their colleagues. If, after having attended a program in its entirety, you are not satisfied that the program has enhanced your understanding of the subject, and you notify us of this in writing before leaving the venue, we will give you a credit toward another program of comparable price.

Who Should Attend

This program is designed for all lawyers who want to take their persuasive writing skills to the next level.

About the Program

Every legal argument involves the arrangement of the facts to suit your legal purpose. We are storytellers, but unlike the fiction writer, we have ethical restraints. We can’t make up facts. And we often don’t get to write the ending - that’s for the judge or jury. But we can still use the storyteller’s tricks and techniques to our advantage. We can present our story and its characters in a way that rings true. We can make our client the hero of the story, so our audience consciously or subconsciously roots for them to succeed. We can indicate what we want to the court, without insisting upon it. Piece by piece, we can bring our listener into the world according to our client. If we can do that, our chances of winning multiply.

That’s why it’s worthwhile to consider the essential elements of storytelling: plot, character, and style. The same tools that make a good fiction writer can also make you a successful lawyer. In this exciting new program, William Bernhardt, lawyer and New York Times bestselling author of more than forty books, shares those secrets. Bernhardt demonstrates the storytelling techniques that have been used successfully in both criminal and civil cases, and shows you how to apply these same strategies to your own writing to advance your client’s narrative. Don’t miss this extraordinary opportunity to benefit from Bernhardt’s lifetime of learning.

Meet Your Presenter

Peter Sankoff

William Bernhardt spent ten years as a litigator and partner at one of Oklahoma’s most prominent law firms. While practicing law, he received awards from Legal Services of Eastern Oklahoma and the Oklahoma Bar Association. Barrister Magazine named him one of the top twenty young lawyers in America. After his Ben Kincaid courtroom drama books consistently hit the New York Times bestseller list, he left the practice of law to write and teach writing full-time. He has sold more than ten million books worldwide. In addition to his law degree, Bernhardt holds a Master's Degree in English Literature, giving him a unique resume as the only legal writing instructor in the nation who has had academic acclaim, a successful, award-winning law practice, and numerous New York Times bestselling novels. He has twice won the Oklahoma Book Award for Best Fiction, and has received the Southern Writers Guild's Gold Medal Award, and the H. Louise Cobb Distinguished Author Award. He is the youngest author inducted into the Oklahoma Writers Hall of Fame.

Program Schedule (Eastern)

12:00 pm - 1:30 pm

Welcome and Introduction

Why We Tell Stories

Considering Plot in Legal Argument

  • The Importance of Backstory
  • How Much Exposition Do You Need?
  • Delivering the "Takeaway"

Considering Character in Legal Argument

  • Creating Characters That Elicit Sympathy
  • Flat, Round and Stock Characters
  • Intertwining Character and Plot

Considering Style in Legal Argument

Finishing Touches: Putting It All Together to Win

Program Wrap-up and Evaluation

Praise for William Bernhardt

“Entertaining and thought-provoking, providing thorough and helpful information.”
“Surpassed all expectations! Should be mandatory for all new-and not so new-attorneys!”
“Bernhardt's humour, expertise, passion, and respect for the art of writing was exceptional.”
“Very clear and practical with everyday application.”
“As a result of attending this CLE, I felt my writing improve the very next day.”
“Terrific content and coverage of a topic that all lawyers probably grapple with.”
“Mr. Bernhardt did a superior job. Clear but thorough material presented with mastery and integrity.”

Register Returning Registrant

working ...

please wait . . . loading