Lawyers write. A lot. So do law firm marketers and content producers for legal vendors. We could all use some help – whether it’s for a brief, blog post, marketing copy for an advertisement or brochure, or crafting an ebook.
Here are some top resources to bookmark to up your writing game or to turn to for help when you don’t have the bandwidth to write.
What better way to start this list than with the editor in chief of Black’s Law Dictionary, Bryan A. Garner. Among his many publications, are the highly regarded,The Elements of Legal Style and The Winning Brief.
Subscribe to his blog at LawProse to get writing tips and check out his training sessions on how to write from the reader’s point of view.
American Legal Style for PerfectIt can take a one-hour proofreading job and cut it down to 6-10 minutes. It is designed specifically for legal writers and editors to improve the process of editing and proofreading legal documents.
They studied the Bluebook: A Uniform System of Citation; The Red Book: A Manual On Legal Style by the afore mentioned Bryan Garner; and Black’s Law Dictionary, among others, and programmed in the rules that are hardest to remember and the errors that are most difficult to spot with the naked eye. American Legal Style scours your document and prompts you to consider and correct inconsistencies, legal-specific typos, errors in citations and terms of art, and non-compliance with legal writing guidance.
The Legal Writers Bureau
A common refrain is “we know we need to write to provide value to our clients and prospects and establish ourselves as experts and thought leaders but we don’t have the time.” OK, so maybe the entire refrain is not as common but we hear variations on this all the time. Have no fear, help is at hand.
Good2bSocial’s The Legal Writers Bureau gives law firms and legal companies access to a team of veteran legal writers and editors who can assist with an array of content options including articles, blog posts, white papers, and marketing copy. The bureau is comprised of top journalists who have written for and edited some of the best-known and well-respected publications in the legal industry, including The American Lawyer, The National Law Journal, The New York Law Journal, Corporate Counsel, Law Technology News, among others.
WordRake‘s vision is to “provide everyone a personal editor, available every hour of every day, that never tires, and can help anyone in any profession write clearly and concisely.” They’re a staple at legal technology conferences and lawyers love them.
WordRake software works with Microsoft Word and Outlook to make your writing more clear and concise. Subscribe to their blog for tips for clear, effective writing.
A couple of other useful tools are Grammarly, a free browser extension and After the Deadline, an open source application with browser extensions and a plugin for your WordPress blog. Both applications provide spell, style, and grammar checking
Content is the fuel for a vibrant digital presence, engagement, and relationship building. Don’t despair because you’re not Hemingway (which, by the way, is also the name of another writing app you can use) or don’t have the time to write. Use the resources listed here to get some help.