Let’s face it. I know you’re asking why you as an attorney should care about legal client education. After all, aren’t they paying you because of how much you know?
Well, no. They are paying you to add value.
Bottom line: most of the time, our clients don’t understand us.
In every context where I’ve worked, whether in law, higher education, non-profit or social enterprise and within the military community, general legal literacy was poor. And in the many negotiations, emails, conference calls, deals, everything really, often if there was a lawyer speaking they were almost unintelligible. I often found myself in the position of translator.
While many of the lawyers meant well, most of the time we think and talk like lawyers and we forget that our clients and the rest of the world doesn’t. Or, worse, we think they should, and that if they don’t they are intellectually less than we are.
The reality is that when we don’t try to speak and write in a way that is understandable to the non-specialist, it’s because we really don’t care. That’s harsh, I know, but the truth often is.
Being able to translate knowledge and expertise – legalese – into language that is understandable by the reasonable non-specialist. Someone like my dad, who didn’t graduate high school but has built multi-million-dollar businesses. Someone like an interested teenager, or your grandmother.
The humility and compassion that it takes to focus on your client and care about whether they understand what is going on and what you can and will do for them.
A truly great professional, whether a lawyer or not, does not need to “sound smart” to have authority. When we are able to make legalese easier to understand, by ensuring that the language we are using is understandable and we are providing examples that make sense to them, then we empower our clients to make better decisions for themselves, their businesses and their families.
In case you need to be convinced more: ROI
I am also convinced that better educated clients means more quality billable hours. There is a clear ROI in taking the time to educate your legal clients – when they make better decisions, they make more informed decisions and take preventative action.
We can help you educate your legal clients
Valuing communication, that is being understood as well as understanding, is foundational to how we work, and why we value making legalese easier to understand for non-specialist audiences.
We can create custom, white-labeled content, written for your legal practice and firm for your legal clients. We also write specialist legal content for your website and print.