Friday, January 28, 2011

Do all those "client alerts" that law firms send out actually get read?

Some corporate in-house counsel say they are overwhelmed with "client alerts" sent by firms every time a new case is decided and thus never read them.  Here are some tips from the National Law Journal to make sure your client alerts get read and circulated:

• Client alerts should be very brief (think blog posts).

• Client alerts that are industry-specific are rare, but will stand out and better position the lawyer not just in his practice area but as understanding the business realities faced by GCs.

• Include a personal message with the client alert and it will have a much better chance of getting read.

I guess the bottom line is, don't write anything that you wouldn't enjoy reading. Seems obvious, right?

As for stylistic advice, keep the writing simple - even though the clients are sophisticated:

One final point about writing client alerts. "We work with our lawyers to create alerts that are easy to read," said Foley. "We put on a seminar for them where we start out by saying, remember everything they taught you about writing in law school? Now forget that — we need you writing alerts on a 6th grade reading level, not an 18th grade level." This rule may not apply to all audiences, but it's important to limit the legalese in your writing.

You can read the rest here.


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