If you’ve been freelance writing for a while, you have probably come across a wide range of styles based on who your client is. Writing for lawyers, in particular, requires more than developing the right voice, you also need to know all the legal jargon and be able to interpret the “wonderful”, hard-to-understand law that our great government wrote. Truthfully, many lawyers are old-school when it comes to marketing themselves. Now mind you, these professionals are very smart, having gone through years of law school and learning how to fight for others. That’s something I wouldn’t be able to do myself! Anyways, though they are very smart most of them don’t understand that using the internet to market themselves is extremely important in today’s world. Specifically, content marketing is something that can help them become the authority in their practice areas of law. For instance, a family lawyer who reveals his knowledge through his website will let potential clients know that he is who they should hire! I’ve written SEO articles for this family attorney’s website with these following things in mind: Be very precise when interpreting the law (I’ll touch on this later) Realize who the target audience is (most likely not other lawyers) Remember the purpose of your writing Quick Recap on SEO SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Basically, it’s manipulating a website to be highly visible in search engines’ organic (unpaid) results. Content marketing is the main method to get websites noticed, usually through free information in the form of articles, blog posts, videos, emails, tweets, and webpages. The purpose of the content is to either entertain or to educate. Writing for Lawyers As mentioned above, lawyers aren’t known for their ability to write though they are very capable. Many lawyers are used to writing to impress rather than to inform and educate those who don’t have a background in law (as conditioned in law school). There are usually endless citations that people don’t care to read and they use legal jargon that no one understands. Here’s another example website that I like – Termination lawyers. If you read through this page on wrongful termination, you’ll notice that it’s easy to read, there’s references to the actual statutes, but you can understand it without needing to do extra research to understand the subject. Your job as the writer is to come in and make the law interesting to read. Potential clients don’t come to a lawyer’s website and applaud all the footnotes, they want to know what the hell the lawyer knows and if that lawyer can help their case. Pretend that you’ve just been in an accident that caused a major injury. Would you click on an article all about interpreting CA Civil Code § 3281 or an article about Catastrophic Injury? Right. Catastrophic injury is more likely to be read because, let’s be honest, who knows what that statute is without doing some research? People don’t want to research; they want to know if they have a case! The Lawyer’s Purpose and Intended Audience What you write is going to be marketing for the lawyer. Marketing is to reach some sort of goal, in this case, it would be to get potential clients to pick up the phone and call the lawyer – this is called lead generation. The more people that come to the website to read the content, the more likely there will be someone who will pick up the phone to call the lawyer. If the lawyer takes just two big cases out of the 50 people that called that month, it’ll be worth their investment in content marketing. The type of people that search for legal issues are people who are either facing those issues or want to learn more about it, usually not lawyers or law firms. Because of this, you have to get into their minds and write about things that will intrigue potential clients. Why Write for Lawyers? I love writing articles about legal issues because it’s more straightforward than writing for other industries. If you’re not particularly good with creative writing, law is a good area to pick up. You can’t get too creative with writing about the law; just make sure you’re making it interesting to read and easy to understand. I love a good challenge and understanding the law is just that. If you enjoy learning new subjects as you write, this is definitely for you. With events such as when Trump puts the issue of immigration in the spotlight, you would have a lot of opportunity to educate people what immigration law really is like. I actually use a Rutter’s Guide book to help with understanding the laws that I’m writing about. Quite expensive, but it’s a great investment if you’re able to get consistent work with a lawyer. One major part of getting your legal article published online is making sure that the lawyer you’re writing for reviews everything you write. Your writing represents them; something written completely off the books can make them lose their license to practice law.