The ultimate guide to law firm copywriting

4 min read

The ultimate guide to law firm copywriting

Sadly, Australia is awash with bad legal copywriting. The problem is not that the lawyers writing the copy don’t know what they’re talking about – because no one understands the law better than a lawyer. Rather, the problem is that lawyers tend to write in a dense, jargon-heavy way. That would be fine if they were writing for other lawyers, but they’re not; they’re writing for members of the public.

Ironically, professional writers from a copywriting agency almost always produce higher-quality legal articles than qualified lawyers. That’s because although they don’t have a law degree, they’re experts in researching information, understanding the key points, and expressing them in a clear, concise, easy-to-read way. And being non-lawyers, they know how to write for other non-lawyers.

Why copywriting is so important

“A word after a word after a word is power,” Margaret Atwood once said. 

The right ideas, expressed in the right way, are powerful. For a law firm, that might mean:

  • Website content that clearly explains your value proposition to potential clients
  • Blogs that highlight your expertise and establish you as a thought leader
  • Email newsletters that hook your reader and compel them to take action
  • Social media posts that attract the attention of potential referral partners
  • Media releases that earn you valuable free publicity

How to do good legal copywriting

The aim of a piece of written communications is to convey information. So, by definition, a piece of writing can only be good if the reader can understand it and absorb the information.

That’s why the most important thing you can do to improve your copywriting is to pretend you’re writing for a child. Use plain English, short sentences and direct arguments. To quote Jack Kerouac: “One day I will find the right words, and they will be simple.”

You also need to be selective in the information you include and the way you present it. A lot of law firm writing contains information that is either irrelevant or of marginal importance; this should be removed, so as not to distract from the content that is relevant and important. Also, the information needs to be presented coherently, so each sentence and paragraph logically flow on from the last. That way, you’ll make it easy for readers to proceed from beginning to end.

The reason so much legal content is impenetrable is because there’s nothing easier than churning out hard-to-read writing. Conversely, easy-to-read writing is hard to create, because it requires a lot of mental effort. Hence Blaise Pascal’s famous quote: “I’m sorry I wrote you such a long letter. I didn’t have time to write you a short one.”

Hunter & Scribe’s Sydney legal writers know how to do good legal copywriting – which is why this blog is so readable. Contact us if you’d like us to do the same high-quality writing for your law firm.

Five types of copywriting your law firm should do

1. Website content

Your website needs to answer every conceivable question your clients might have, for two reasons. First, when a potential client types a question into Google, it means Google might direct them to your website in response. Second, when potential clients find your website has content that directly addresses their concern, it will prove you understand them and have dealt with that issue many times before. That’s why website content for law firms, in the form of dedicated webpages and FAQ sections, plays such an important role in your marketing.

2. Blogs

Blogs are a great way to differentiate your law firm from your many other rivals. Generally, before someone engages a law firm, they’ll visit multiple websites as part of their research. If your website is regularly publishing blog content and those rival websites aren’t, potential clients will assume your firm is more knowledgeable and professional – giving you a much better chance of winning the business.

3. Email newsletters

It’s much easier to generate new business from old clients – who already know, like and trust you – than from sceptical strangers. That’s why you should send a monthly newsletter to your database. Just make sure the content is educational, rather than self-promotional. If you do that, people will happily engage with your marketing and you’ll be able to generate enormous amounts of repeat business over the long-term.

4. Social media posts

Every time you publish a social media post, you put yourself in front of potential clients and referral partners. That’s why your law firm should aim to publish regular social media content. Five posts per week is ideal; one post per week is the bare minimum. Again, make sure your content is educational – publish news, offer general advice and bust myths. That way, all those clients and referral partners will see you as a trusted expert rather than a slick salesperson. 

5. Media releases

Getting media coverage is arguably the best way to establish your law firm as a trusted authority figure and differentiate yourself from most of your rivals. If clients and referral partners see that you’re being quoted in the media, they’ll assume you’re an industry expert. (That’s why Hunter & Scribe share our media coverage on our website.) One way to get media coverage is to send media releases to journalists: if yours are well-written and relevant to their audience, there’s a chance they’ll publish them. Another way is to put yourself forward as a guest on podcasts.

Need help from our Sydney legal writers?

Hunter & Scribe is a Sydney-based copywriting agency that does legal copywriting. That includes writing website content for law firms, as well as blogs, email newsletters, social media posts, media releases, case studies and award submissions.

Law firms that write content in-house, rather than outsourcing the job to a copywriter, generally regret the decision. Here’s why:

  • If you assign the writing to a lawyer, you’ll probably waste money, because the lawyer’s hourly rate will almost certainly be higher than the copywriter’s
  • If you assign the task to an admin staffer, their hourly rate will be lower than the copywriter’s – but their writing is likely to be poor

Outsourcing legal copywriting generally results in higher-quality work, and for a lower price. Click here to make an inquiry or start your project.

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