The Many Sides of Legal Writing
A startling realization hit me while sitting in a courtroom not too long ago.
Looking toward the bench, it dawned on me a handful of the attorneys milling around likely were in high school when I first started covering courts in 2000. Although that amount of time won’t earn me a law license, it’s an example of my long relationship with the legal system and a wide array of lawyers over the years.
Writing about the law, the criminal justice system and the people who make it run continues to be interesting to me even after all this time. The human element, the tactical aspects and the realities of life on regular display in court are better than any fictional TV drama. Those reasons are part of what drives me to keep a hand in reporting on what’s happening in Kane County courtrooms as a freelancer for The Aurora Beacon-News.
There’s also a side benefit. Seeing how lawyers work, reading how they write and being aware of what their world is like has made it easy to relate to them – after all, they’re people with jobs, families and hobbies like the rest of us. Developing those types of connections created opportunities to help produce content for law firm websites and write long-form profiles of several top Chicago-area attorneys – such as Eleni Koumelis, Brian Kerwin and Donald Storino – for Leading Lawyers Magazine.
This type of work also means I’ve spent plenty of time clicking around online to see how firms present themselves on the web. The style, design and content certainly run the gamut from high-end flashy to so low key you’d think it was a digital phone book ad. And, if there’s a common area lacking substance, it’s often the attorney profile pages.
Here’s why: Law offices big and small often cite referrals as the greatest source of clients, yet every firm turns to the web to promote themselves in an attempt to generate new business by highlighting the faces of the firm – the attorneys. The problem, in my opinion, is that their profiles frequently read like resumes or, even worse, lack relatable substance to help the average person see why a particular attorney might be right for them. No lawyer ever walks into a face-to-face meeting with a potential client, tosses down a resume and hopes they get hired, so why do so many websites take a somewhat similar approach?
Well-rounded professional profiles which move beyond the resume basics can go a long way toward giving website visitors the right impression of an attorney by delving into a lawyer’s community interests, civic engagement and a little of their personality.
That’s where writers who get attorneys come in handy. From profiles and other web content to press releases and blog posts, DanCamCom can be a flexible, talented resource for your firm whether you’re a sole practitioner looking for a hand or a large firm’s marketing team in need of someone to complement your efforts.