Training Tips

On Behalf of | Dec 19, 2011 | Writing Techniques

There is no question that each one of you knows more about your practice area than you could fit into a hundred, or even a thousand, blog posts. If you had the time, you could likely sit down right now and write a treatise on some aspect of your practice off the top of your head.

Your readers, like your clients, rely upon this encyclopedic warehouse of information. While they rely upon your depth of knowledge, they may not actually be that interested in the technical aspects of the law if they are not easily digestible.

So immersed we can be in our practice, that it can be tricky to even determine what is common knowledge and what is legal jargon. I was using the phrase “fruit of the poisonous tree” in a post recently and realized that the phrase is likely not self explanatory to non-attorneys.

I sent a quick email to my wife to see if she, as a non-lawyer, would have any idea what it meant. She said no, but it sounded intriguing and that she was now really curious what it meant. This led to an impromptu lesson on the exclusionary rule.

So while I realized that I could not simply reference “fruit of the poisonous tree” without providing some explanation. It turned out that the explanation I was hoping to omit was actually an opportunity to connect with my audience and let them learn a little more about the law.

You could create a virtual feast for your readers with your legal knowledge and insight. But that level of effort is better used for court filings and journal articles. Blog readers usually want their knowledge and insight in smaller, bite-sized portions.

Casey Hall is a licensed attorney and writes recurring online content for Findlaw. Casey also develops social media strategy and training for our Professional Division and Thomson Reuters Corporate initiatives. He began his work at Thomson Reuters conducting legal research as a Westlaw Reference Attorney. Casey lives in Minneapolis with his wife and son.