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Attorney Blog Idea: Misunderstood Legal Terms

by Nov 20, 2015

In my last post about blog ideas for attorneys, I wrote about the value in debunking myths about the law. Whether those myths are specific to your practice area or just the law in general, this sort of blog post provides both interesting and educational content.

It can be a nice way to make use of a numbered list. This kind of content has the potential to generate a lot of discussions and to be shared widely. When people read content that surprises or interests them, they may share it via email or social media.

To keep up with all the blog ideas in this post, you can visit our Attorney Blog Post Ideas page.

Law Firm Blog Ideas: Misused & Misunderstood Legal Terms

In a similar way, today’s blog post idea is to consider writing a blog about commonly misunderstood or misused legal terms.

As examples (if they’re relevant terms to your practice area), you might want to help your audience distinguish between terms such as “assault” and “battery,” or educating them on the difference between a “robbery” and a “burglary.”

Additionally, you can also write a blog about terms that are important to your practice area in general — ones that your audience might not be familiar with at all.

Many practicing attorneys have had experiences with clients who aren’t legally educated. Sometimes these clients have a hard time clearly articulating their problem or intentions. They’ll use lots of different terms to try and explain themselves, and sometimes those terms are neither accurate nor logical within a trained lawyer’s lexicon. With time, lawyers learn to interpret client-speak and understand the information given to them, even when clients struggle to deliver that information in an organized or rational way.

A post about terms that are relevant to your practice area can help educate your clients by making these terms a little clearer to them — and helping clients decide if a term might be the right one to use to describe their situation.

People sometimes fear or dislike what they don’t understand. The intricacy of the law (and how attorneys do their job) can be complicated for some to appreciate. It might be one reason why so many lawyer jokes exist. Type “lawyer jokes” into Google and you’ll get back roughly 6.5 million results (that’s up from about 2.5 million results in 2013).

Attorney-related humor has been around since Shakespeare’s time, and could be the product of everyday people finding a way to bond over what may seem like a bewildering topic. Whether the joke is about costly legal fees, procrastinating on client-related issues, or otherwise, the public perception of lawyers — and what they do — doesn’t necessarily suggest that people think highly of attorneys.

In fact, a poll from the Pew Research Center puts lawyers at the bottom of the list when it comes to public opinion about how much attorneys contribute to our society. The poll notes that a quarter or more of those who responded express that they believe lawyers contribute very little or nothing to our society (34%) — a public opinion that’s shared with journalists (27%) and business executives (28%). It’s possible that some of this dislike is the product of what the general public doesn’t understand about attorneys, the importance of what they do, and possibly even legal terminology.

Writing educational blog posts and encouraging your readers to learn about legal terms can help to enlighten your readers and establish yourself as a credible attorney who is trustworthy, open, a go-to educational resource for those interested in learning more about the law — a topic that may be daunting or mysterious for those without a legal background.

Much like how writing about legal myths can produce surprising and interesting content, so can blogging about commonly misunderstood or misused legal terms. Again, this could be an opportunity to make use of a numbered list (“Five Legal Terms You Think You Know…”). Blogging about thought-provoking content in an easily digestible way makes for blog posts that people are likely to share with others.

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