We’ve all seen it: an attorney who speaks eloquently and clearly, but his or her writing is so dense you can barely read it. We have slogged through briefs so full of legalese that even we, as trained lawyers, needed to keep the legal dictionary close at hand. Now imagine that brief in the hands of a prospective client. Unfortunately, that’s exactly the way some law blogs read, if they are read at all.
You wouldn’t spout legalese to a client sitting across from you in an initial consultation, so why use it in your blog. Unless your target clients are other lawyers or very savvy business executives, that kind of language will cause your prospective clients to tune out and stop reading.
Instead you should write every blog as though you were talking to an average client. Someone who is probably educated, but likely has little legal expertise. Some people say blogs should be written at a 8th grade reading level. That may not be practical in a legal context, but it should remind you not to aim too high. Try to imagine the potential client sitting across the table from you. If you would have to break it down for him or her, then you should do so in your blog too.
A conversational tone is crucial too. Most people don’t want to be lectured. They want someone to explain the answer to the question burning in their minds. So rather than write a treatise on your practice area, try writing your blog to answer questions you think might come up for prospective clients. Even when you’re summarizing new changes of the law, remember that many potential clients end up on your site because of their question, not the legal news.
By cutting out the legalese and making your blogs conversational and easy to read, you will increase the benefit they give to potential clients and make them more likely to convert to paying clients. If you need help writing your blog in plain English, contact ghost blogger Lisa Schmidt.