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Mar 16, 2016Content Creation for Attorneys: 5 Tips for Writing a Legal Article

The vast majority of lawyers who engage in the business development process would agree that writing is a great way to update clients on recent legal developments and, at the same time, build a firm’s platform. However, while the general consensus among the legal community is that content creation is valuable, a blank Word document can often be intimidating, especially for associates and first-time authors. Here are some tips for writing an article that might generate new business by establishing thought leadership.

Know your audience

It is vital to decide on a specific audience before finalizing a topic. Who is going to read it and why? This will set the stage for your theme, the style of your writing, and which publications will be interested once the article is eventually pitched.

Pick your topic

The right issue to focus on is one that that matters to your target audience. Focus on a niche area of the law and substantive issues currently at the center of your practice area.

Keep it interesting

Much of the writing attorneys are accustomed to in their day-to-day work is a stark contrast to writing from a marketing standpoint. A well-written legal article shouldn’t resemble a heavily researched law review, and doesn’t necessarily require extensive citations or jargon. An effective article conveys an author’s knowledgeable grasp of an issue while still keeping the content engaging and interesting. An attorney should also consider subtle “calls to action.”

Choose the right publication

Pitch the finished article to credible, reputable publications that cater to your target audience. The type of journal, website, or other publication you submit the piece to will have a critical impact on the attention it will receive, as well as how the author and firm will appear to the public.

Share it

After spending hours writing an article, don’t forget to put it to good use once it’s published. Repurpose it, and consider sending reprints to clients or potential clients to demonstrate your knowledge of the law.

Through content marketing, attorneys can generate new business leads by sharing their interpretations of trending topics in the news and other important legal developments. Setting aside time to develop and distribute a well-written and informative article effectively demonstrates a lawyer’s expertise, while also contributing the law firm’s overall marketing objectives, including building the law firm brand.