5 Do’s and Don’ts for Writing Compelling Legal Blogs and Emails

by August Smith | April 8, 2024

Let’s be frank: there’s a lot of personal injury content online, including blog posts, videos, landing pages, newsletters, social media, and advertisements. If you’re reading this blog, you’re not only aware of this, you’re probably part of this crowded field. Thus, you may be wondering how to cut through all this noise to make your voice heard. How do you ensure that your content stands out from the gigabytes of similar stuff online?


The key is not just in what you say, but in how you say it. Crafting compelling legal content requires a balance of knowledge, skill, and empathy. It’s about providing value that speaks directly to the needs and concerns of your readers, all while maintaining the professional integrity that this field demands.


A couple of weeks ago, I shared some of our top content-writing strategies in Creating Conversion-Focused Content for Law Firms. In this post, I’d like to elaborate on those points, sharing some straightforward “do’s and don’ts” to keep in mind as you write your legal content.


Think of this post as a handy quick-reference guide—something you can glance at if you have writer’s block, if your legal content feels dull and dead on the page, or if your metrics and pageviews just aren’t meeting your expectations.


  1. DO try to write in a personal and conversational tone.


I put this tip as #1 because I think it’ll only become more important as time goes on. This is because of one game-changer of a variable in the world of content writing: Artificial Intelligence. As AI continues to develop and proliferate in content spaces online, people will grow accustomed to AI writing and learn to detect its voice. While AI tools can be useful for organizing ideas and creating first drafts, firms should avoid publishing content with the telltale signs of AI. That’s why compelling legal content requires a human touch.


Beyond concerns about AI, writing that is conversational, warm, and personal is simply more enjoyable to read than writing that is detached and robotic. It makes a much bigger impact on the reader and increases the chance that they’ll return to you for advice, knowledge, and, ultimately, legal help. It also increases a potential client’s trust in your firm; conversational writing implies that there’s another human being on the other end, speaking directly to you and to your potentially difficult situation.


My best trick for increasing my writing’s conversational tone is to read everything out loud. Do I stumble over any words or phrases? If so, those moments might be clumsy and overwritten. Do I feel bored as I read through it? If so, the writing might be too generic or too bland. Does it sound like something I would actually say out loud? If the answer is no, it might come off as inauthentic.


  1. DON’T use legal jargon, but don’t dumb it down too much either.


A big part of writing conversationally is avoiding legal jargon. It’s easy to get “lost in the weeds” when it comes to legal subjects, and legal content is infamous for its dense writing styles, lofty Latin legalese, and overly referential prose. Lawyers, of course, like to cover their bases, and they’re trained to understand not only the laws themselves, but the deep histories and the context behind those laws. While this knowledge is crucial in the courtroom, not every person needs that level of depth. Try to explain the intricacies of liability law history to a friend, for example, and watch their eyes glaze over.


At the same time, don’t patronize your readers or treat them like a child. If they’re reading your post or your email, they’re probably a little curious about the subject matter, and it may be something that they’ve already spent some time researching. One of the most altruistic things your legal content can do is educate people in order to help them understand and engage with their rights in difficult situations, so don’t be afraid to adopt a didactic approach.


The truck is finding the right balance between educational and easy-to-grasp. Avoid the legal jargon, but provide enough context to demystify the subject. Give the reader references, links, and jumping-off points if they want to explore a subject further, but keep your sentences simple and your paragraphs brief.


  1. DO use headers, bullet points, and lists to break up text and make it more skimmable.


On the internet, the blog reader is a fickle, flighty animal, prone to retreat at the sight of a screen-filling paragraph. Listen, we’ve all been there: searching for an answer, flipping rapidly through Google results, skimming pages and pages until we find the answer plainly presented.


While this might bode poorly for people’s dwindling attention spans, you should keep their reading habits in mind as you structure your content. Some things to remember include:


  • White space is your friend. Give those eyes a rest!
  • Bullet points are your very best friends. And they love to hang out together.
  • People love reading lists. BuzzFeed taught this to the world a decade ago.
  • Use bold text to finesse your control of a reader’s attention.
  • Break up your content with headers and subheaders for easier navigation.


As a writer on the internet, these are some of the most powerful tools in your toolbox. Keep them handy and deploy them without hesitation. Your readers—and your PageRank—will thank you.


  1. DON’T let SEO ruin your flow.


The great writers of history never had to deal with SEO phrases and hyperlinked content polluting their beautiful prose, but that era has passed. The great writers of today (read: you and I) are working with different tools, and part of our craft is working these elements into our writing in a way that feels seamless.


Keywords are undeniably crucial for SEO, but when they’re stuffed into sentences where they don’t fit or are overused, they can make your content sound forced and unnatural. Readers come to your blog or open your emails looking for answers and insights, not a barrage of canned phrases and weirdly placed links.


Instead of letting SEO dictate the direction and tone of your content, view it as an integral, but not dominant, part of your writing process. Use keywords strategically, massaging them into your content in a way that feels natural. Remember, search engines want to serve up the most relevant and useful content to their users. By focusing on the quality and relevance of your content first, you not only improve the user experience but also align with the search engines’ objectives, too.


  1. DO double check your references and make sure your legal knowledge is up to date.


Accuracy is crucial in legal writing, not only for your firm’s reputation but for the trust and safety of your readers who may be relying on your content for guidance. In a worst-case scenario, providing incorrect legal advice can even have serious legal repercussions of its own. What makes this even more complicated is that laws and regulations can change with little notice—what was sound legal advice yesterday may not be true today.


The only way to safeguard against this is to perform your due diligence:


  • Make sure you’re using reputable sources, like .gov websites, for example.
  • Make it a routine to review and update your old content, especially when you become aware of a shift in the legal landscape.
  • Provide clear disclaimers that your blog or email content is meant for informational purposes only and not as a substitute for professional legal advice.


Keeping your content accurate and up-to-date is hard work, but it reflects your commitment to professionalism and your firm’s high standards. People notice things like this, and it builds trust with your audience, reinforcing your status as a reliable source of legal information.


Of course, DO reach out to the content writing experts at cj.

At cj, we know that writing compelling legal content is an artform in itself. That’s why we’ve dedicated ourselves to the craft, constantly finetuning our approach while keeping an eye on the shifting legal and digital landscapes. If this blog post has made you curious about how to improve your own content, reach out to cj Advertising at askus@cjadvertising.com, and let us help you stand out from the crowd.