If you are contemplating hiring an experienced legal writer, the vetting process for selecting the right person is just as important as assigning topics, checking their work, and determining relevant titles.
Knowing the necessary skills that a legal writer should have will narrow down your search and make it much easier to determine when you've identified the right person.
General Writing Skills
It should go without saying that an experienced legal writer should have excellent writing skills. Even if your clients could be classified as a lay audience, as an attorney you must express yourself professionally and coherently in all written materials.
This includes your brochures, your legal website copy, your blogs, and even your social media messages. This means that an experienced legal writer must be able to capture your brand's tone, voice and unique value proposition, while also speaking professionally and clearly to your intended audience.
An experienced legal copywriter will be familiar with how to identify the fine line between providing necessary legal information and overwhelming your prospective clients with unnecessary details.
As an attorney, it is always your job to express yourself professionally, and when handing the reins over to an experienced legal copywriter you'll also want to have the peace of mind that this person can capture this knowledge and translate it effectively for your intended readers.
Outstanding Research Ability
As you well know, laws and terminology vary from one state to another. It is essential that your legal copywriter be familiar with how to do state specific research and identify the most relevant and updated materials. Posting on a DUI attorney's blog a law that is now outdated or has since been overturned, could be a catastrophic mistake for your website.
You must be able to place your trust in a legal copywriter who does thorough research in all aspects of the process, whether it is selecting appropriate titles for your law firm's website or focus keywords for your website copy or writing the material itself.
Ideally, your legal copywriter should have some experience in the legal industry as a paralegal or a legal researcher, receptionist or attorney themselves.
Receiving a final piece of copy should only require a quick review on your part. Your legal copywriter should have already done most of the legwork in the researching, writing and editing process. Since one of the primary purposes for outsourcing your legal content is to save time, it doesn't make sense to hire a legal copywriter who doesn't at least do outstanding proofreading or retains the services of a proofreader to check the work before it is turned in to you.
Your legal copywriter should be familiar with punctuation and good grammar such that there is minimal work required on your end once the material has been turned in.
Digital Marketing Savvy
Get the most out of your investment in a legal copywriter by choosing to work with someone who is digital marketing savvy.
Many legal writers choose to focus on the writing themselves, but being familiar with other aspects, such as social media, recommendations for resources or opt-ins that could be based on your website and general marketing strategy can help to amplify the power of each piece that you order from your legal copywriter.
Your legal copywriter can likely provide insight on campaigns and concepts that could help you become even more effective in the future.
Having an established relationship with a knowledgeable legal copywriter will cut through some of the challenges and make it easier for you to determine the next direction to go. When hiring a legal copywriter, make sure that you verify that they have all of these areas of expertise and review their work samples carefully. This can tell you a lot about a writer's style and overall ability.