Imagine that little Billy Bloggins walks into his third grade classroom on a day that seems at first like any other. He tries to turn in his homework that was officially due a few days ago, but the teacher refuses to accept it because the statute of limitations has passed. At lunch, a classmate borrows a dollar from Billy so that he can buy a bag of chips. Billy agrees but makes the classmate promise to pay him back in solido. In P.E. class, Billy’s team performs abysmally at kickball, but a severe thunderstorm leads to the game ending early.
Billy’s team taunts the other team about how they don’t get to enjoy their victory because they didn’t actually win, and they respond by gloating that Billy’s team was on track to lose. The coach says it’s a moot point; the game ended with a force majeure event, not with a victory for either team.
Clearly, this paragraph includes terms that were not part of your everyday vocabulary before you studied for the LSAT. They sound confusing and inappropriate outside of formal legal writing. The moral of the story is that these terms do not belong on your law firm’s blog any more than they belong on this blog.
Think Like a Prospective Client
One of the main purposes of a blog is to help your law firm’s website rank higher on lists of Google search results. In other words, you want people to find your law firm’s website when they type search queries into Google that are related to your practice area. Someone who knows almost nothing about estate planning, but now needs information about it, will type “What happens if someone dies without a will” instead of “what happens if someone dies intestate.” They will probably know what “intestate” means after reading a few web pages that they find as a result of their search. Your law firm’s site will not be one of them unless you find a way to phrase things in terms that non-specialists who want to find out about them might use. People who have never hired a family lawyer search for “back child support,” not “arrears.”
When to Use Legal Terms When Talking to Non-Lawyers
Blogs are meant to be informative, and people read law firm blogs to learn about the law. That includes learning legal terms relevant to their cases. Explaining the meanings of legal terms in your blog posts will make the posts readable, and even shareable. Do not, however, do so at the expense of language that prospective clients would use; Google has no concept of synonyms. Once you have met with the clients, it is fine to use technical terms that you have discussed with your clients and which you are sure they understand.
Contact Legal Blog Writers
Writing is a lot of work, even when you intentionally use a simple writing style. You can count on Law Blog Writers to create engaging, readable content to help prospective clients find your site and learn about your practice.