Communicating Powerfully in the Legal Arena: Always Write to Your Reader
Even the most seasoned lawyers and judges enjoy reading clearly written material. While legalese may seem to be the accepted norm, if you want to get your point across to others fully, it’s quite simple: you must be a bold and inspiring communicator with organized and intelligent thoughts. And just as in negotiating or arguing in court, you must know who your reader is. In writing to your reader you can connect in a powerful manner that may be surprisingly effective time and time again.
Although legal issues can be rather dry at times, and you may not have a lot of invigorating material to work with, the key is to leave your reader wondering what you are going to say next. Conflict and emotional content always draw the reader in, along with a good storyline—but unless you are working on a juicy case, you may just have to work with what you’ve got.
In some cases, you may want to draw the reader in at the beginning with interesting statistics and peripheral information that is somewhat riveting. Other methods to improve your legal writing include:
- Putting thought into your presentation: Consider what you would find interesting to read about; put yourself in the eyes of the reader. In most cases, readers are inspired by clarity and honesty.
- Planning your work clearly by creating an outline and considering how much time you want to spend on the writing project. Think about each writing assignment as a project, organizing your thoughts and words.
- Just getting started. As most of us are aware during any writing project, the beginning can be intimidating. Your course of action, however, can be to drive in and start putting the words down. Just let them flow, knowing you can change anything you want later. Expect to create multiple drafts, edit profusely, and proofread meticulously. Nothing takes the brilliance out of good writing more than a bunch of typos! It is also a good idea to have someone else read your work if possible, before you release it.
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