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Law Firms – Write Original Copy for your Promotional Pieces

Law Firms – Write Original Copy for your Promotional Pieces

Over a period of 25 years working with the legal profession, the one common fault I have seen with copywriting in material such as lawyer bios, websites, tenders/pitch documents etc is a lack of original thought.

In an era where firms are claiming to be “innovative”, in most cases their copywriting is far from innovative. It is mundane, boring, repetitive and the same as most other firms.

Making an impact to any extent in a market as ultra-competitive as the legal profession in the 21st century requires original thinking translated into copy that is different to that of the competition; and that is relevant to the reader.

Too much thinking is directed to writing what the partnership thinks it wants to say; rather, think about writing copy with which the reader will connect.

Websites – the biggest sin

Websites and their content lead the charge to the bottom in terms of quality of copywriting.

Consider these hackneyed examples that appear on too many law firm websites:

Partner profiles contain the phrase – “I have extensive experience” – let’s begin by defining the adjective “extensive” – how much is it? what does it include? are you the only one with such experience? The answer here is it is an attempt to sound more impressive. Instead you sound boring, dull and the same as most other lawyers.

TIP – If you take out the adjective and insert relevant examples you will immediately paint a unique picture of yourself.

Website home pages with these descriptors –

“providing commercial solutions”; oh really, that’s different

“we have a passion for our clients”;  ughhhh! I’m not interested in your passion but can you help me?

“we pride ourselves on”; insert 1 of 400 lovely traits that mean nothing to solving the reader’s problems

“we value all of our clients” ; oh really, or is it just the ones that pay the most? Be honest!

“we deliver cost effective solutions”; for whom, you or the client?

As you can see empty statements abound on law firm websites.

So where do I want to take you with your copywriting? What genuine advice do I have for you in improving the quality of your written material. Try these guidelines – they aren’t that hard:

Guidelines to better writing:

Demonstrate don’t assert, or show me don’t tell me. This is the approach that successful authors take with their writing.

Tell a story. Stop the boring language about you and tell a story that builds the picture you want the reader to see.

Be bold, different and disciplined in your copywriting. You will stand out.

Adjectives, such as “extensive” when describing your experience serve little purpose. One great writer, Don Watson, would describe them as weasel words. So rid your copy of weasel words.

Don’t begin every paragraph with first and second person pronouns “I, me, we, our”; the client is interested in themselves not you. Write for the readers’ perspectives, not your own.

Finally, be simple and clear in your copywriting.

Ray Hartley

Ray@sharedconversations.com.au

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