Monday, 18 February 2013

Lawyers: How To Write Clearly

Of course, for lawyers, language is everything – writing clauses, interpreting phrases, arguing over construction and meaning; it's all part of the day job, right?

So why do I (Victoria) so often see boring law blogs or blawgs? Maybe I'm not the target audience, but having been a practising solicitor, I'm pretty certain I have the mental capacity to choose between an intellectually stimulating blog, with challenging or complicated legal concepts, and one which is frankly; RUBBISH. The point I'm making is that you can't fob me off with the old 'I'm writing it for other lawyers' excuse sometimes given for yawn-worthy content.

Much will depend on the audience you're writing for. Hang on – you have thought about your audience, haven't you? Or are you just writing, writing, writing without a second thought? If so; how are you getting along with the old reader numbers?

It's easy to sit down and 'bash out' a case report, client update letter or particulars of claim. What may need a little more consideration is your personal, or indeed firm's blog. If you are trying to attract a loyal audience, you should think about the following:

Why are you writing? Is it a hobby, to increase your knowledge and understanding of a particular area of law, or are you striving to become that 'go to' expert?

Who is the blog aimed at? Is it clients or potential clients, is it other lawyers, is it your colleagues?

What is the blog about? Is it strictly case law, criticism of LASPO, your journey to obtain a training contract?

A blog featured on a specialist employment law firm's website, written with the aim of attracting corporate clients, will (should) be very different to a blog discussing one man or woman's personal crusade to find a job.

So next time you sit down to scribble, have a think about what you are trying to achieve.

By Victoria Moffatt

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