These days, legal copywriting for a law firm’s website, for keeping up with social media, and for articles and press releases is a vital part of the astute law company’s marketing mix. Posting regularly on the issues of the day through blogs, articles and Facebook statuses is demanded and expected by a legal firm’s many audiences.
Legal copywriting is also a key component of traditional print marketing. The law firm that finds itself without a corporate brochure, a recruitment pack, and leaflets and direct mail, could get left behind in the drive to attract top candidates and to market itself to the big corporations.
So, who’s going to do all this legal copywriting? Obviously, solicitors are intelligent people. They’ve been through law school. But that doesn’t necessarily make them great at legal writing. Chances are, they might not have the time to spare. Not to mention the inclination. Solicitors are also very well paid professionals. So it makes no sense to take them away from their core legal work to have a dabble at legal copywriting.
It’s also a surprising fact that former solicitors aren’t necessarily the best option for legal copywriters, either. A quick trawl through the websites of ex-lawyers who have set themselves up as legal writers reveals some unrefined writing, some of it complete with grammatical errors. It’s that old chestnut: not being able to see the wood for the trees – ally that with core skills and training that are based around the law rather than marketing and writing, and it’s a recipe for failure.
Legal writing is best left to professional copywriters. Lawyers looking for freelance legal writing should first check that the writer has had sufficient experience of dealing with major-name law firms and is familiar with the basics of legal jargon, the seat system and the different facets of law that they will encounter when working with a legal firm.
So what kind of legal copywriting should a copywriter expect to tackle as part of a law firm’s marketing? Obviously, all businesses need high-quality website content. Beyond that, these days, it’s vital that lawyers have regular promotional output through blogging and social media – 100 or so ‘tweets’ or Facebook ‘statuses’ a month can cost as little as £100, but be worth their weight in gold.
Also critical is high-class recruitment literature that picks out the firm’s unique selling points and attracts the cream of the graduate crop each year. Newsletters, plain English legal documents, biographies, journals and radio adverts are also all key elements of the marketing arsenal that can be tackled by the legal writer.