Writing to your Audience

Who are you writing to? You are most likely writing to non-lawyers. That is not to say that some lawyers won’t read your work. However, your work will be on the internet so non-lawyers will read it and they are likely your target audience. Therefore, when blogging, we need to be mindful of best practices when writing to laypersons.

  • Keep the language simple and do your best to eliminate unnecessary legal jargon and terminology. Any legal terms need to be explained in plain English. Below is a list of common legal terms and potential plain English alternatives. Not all will of the alternatives below will be appropriate or accurate for your use, but they serve as good guidance:
    • Affidavit – Signed statement under oath
    • Asserted – Said
    • Complaint – Allegations
    • Convicted – Found guilty
    • Damages – Losses
    • De facto – In fact
    • Defendant – Perpetrator
    • Deposition – Statement under oath
    • Discovery – Research
    • Judgment – Decision
    • Jurisdiction – The court with the authority
    • Litigation – Lawsuit
    • Plaintiff – Victim
    • Precedent – Controlling decision
    • Statute of Limitations – Deadline
    • Tort – Wrongdoing or negligence
  • Write short, easy-to-understand sentences. Do not write lengthy paragraphs.
  • Use subheadings throughout so that your reader knows what a particular part of the post focuses on. Subheadings are also key to a well-organized blog post.
  • Relate the subject matter to your audience. For our purposes your audience is the entrepreneur, so relate the subject matter to their business, or their likely legal situation. Examples often help with this.
  • Keep it short. People like to get information as quickly as possible and that means reading less. You want to be informative and thorough but don’t overdo it.
  • Do.not.sound.like.a.robot. Be professional but personable. Be that lawyer that someone would feel comfortable talking to about the issue. Be that lawyer that comes across (and is) knowledgeable.
  • When referring to businesses or organizations, make sure you use the pronoun “it” not “they.”

💡Think about other ways you can relate your blog post to your audience. If your audience is a group of entrepreneurs, be sure to carefully define or explain business terms.


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To the extent possible under law, Samantha Prince has waived all copyright and related or neighboring rights to Entrepreneurship Law: Company Creation, except where otherwise noted.