When you are looking for the opportunity to hire an experienced legal writer, it makes a difference who you select and their background.
While this person does not necessarily need to have a JD and in fact, you may want someone who specifically does not have a JD, it is a good idea to carefully vet a freelance legal content writer because this type of writing is unique from many other styles.
Most people who are successful with different types of freelance writing will approach legal in a very different way. There are different rules associated with writing for a legal landscape. As an attorney or manager of the marketing department at a law firm, you probably already know this.
This is because the State Bar Associations, as well as the laws on the books in your states, stipulate particular requirements with regard to ethics and the words that you can and cannot use.
Someone who is not experienced in the realm of legal writing might make mistakes that seem like minor issues but could actually cause you problems with the State Bar Association. This is just one thing that makes legal content writing so unique.
The second thing that makes legal content writing unique from other types of writing styles is the person who it is being written for.
A person who is in the market to hire an attorney will be worried about specific problems, issues and in particular in the wake of worrying about the legal concerns of just filing a lawsuit or recovering compensation for a personal injury.
These are unique challenges that prompt someone to start googling these topics to begin with and the content created for an attorney or a law firm website must directly relate to these kinds of questions and issues. Someone who has not written in the legal landscape might approach it with a different eye. Writing legal content is different from writing sales copy. There is not a product or service for sale at the end of reading a piece of legal copy, even though the attorney is in one way or another trying to promote his or her services or the law firm in general.
Legal must be much more nuanced in a way that it presents attorneys and the services provided by the firm. This must be done in a way that illustrates expertise without violating any of the State Bar Association rules and in a way that puts the reader at ease.
Accomplishing all of these things in one piece of legal content writing is never easy, but it is even more challenging for someone who is not familiar with this type of writing at all. Hiring an experienced legal content writer should only be done after you have had the opportunity to carefully vet the person's expertise and feedback from other types of clients. Since legal is so unique and requires a careful eye, the right person can make a big difference in how well the content is received and how well it performs online.
The final thing that makes legal content writing so unique is the fact that it must be written accurately. Laws vary from one state to another and while attorneys know this, an inexperienced legal content writer may try to reference the terminology and laws of Texas when writing a blog about Pennsylvania.
This is a huge no-no and can telegraph misinformation to potential clients who call the law firm thinking that another state's rules and regulations apply. This is extremely confusing and can in many cases lead to problems again with the State Bar Association. A person who works in the field of legal content writing must be dedicated to doing all of the necessary research to verify accuracy and to produce final pieces that are in line with what the reader wants while not throwing up any red flags with the law firm or the State Bar Association.
Getting all of these things to work together in conjunction is difficult, but can be much more easily achieved when you have an experienced legal content writer on staff. Finding the right person who can help you whether as a contract or in a full-time employment position can make a big difference for the type and quality of content produced by your law firm.