You’re driving down the road, listening to music, or maybe watching a movie. Suddenly, a car pulls out in front of you. You have to slam on your brakes, causing a loud screech as metal meets metal. You look in your rearview mirror and see the confused and angry faces of the passengers in the car behind you. They’ve just witnessed your carelessness and don’t know how to react.
This kind of scenario is what often happens when an attorney advertises their services in a newspaper. They’re desperately trying to drum up business, and someone sees their chance to grab a bite to eat and hires them. Now the attorney has to write up a summary of the case, which can feel endless. They’re trying to create content that will be worthwhile to the reader, even if they end up losing the case. They also need to write enough to convince the reader that they’re worth hiring, but not so much that they bore the reader to tears.
For attorneys, this is known as “burying the lead.” It’s the equivalent of starting a sentence with the phrase, “So/Then…” and never completing the thought. Your lead should always have a point. It shouldn’t just be there to waste your time or the reader’s time. When you’re writing a legal brief, your lead should compel the reader to action. Otherwise, what’s the point?
Inevitably, there are going to be times when you have to write about a case that didn’t go your way. When this happens, it’s important to remember the purpose of your work. Did you do your job? Were you effective in your representation of your client?
Being able to find the good in every situation is an important life skill. Most importantly, when you experience a loss, it’s natural to feel down for a while. It’s not easy to see your hard work go to waste. However, when you get back on your feet, you have to remember that there were some positive aspects to this situation. You can’t change the past, but you can learn from it. This is known as having a “double-dose of bad luck.”
One of the things that can help you get back on your feet is putting your best foot forward. When you write an article for publication, you have an opportunity to make your name known for more than one fact pattern. If you can show the editor that you’re a capable writer who can produce quality content on time, they may just give you more work. This is why doing some research before you begin writing is so important. You can familiarize yourself with the type of content that the publication usually produces and use this as a guide to help you develop an idea for a story. You should also consider what’s important to your client. What do they want to see in a story? Are they looking for basic information or are they hoping to learn something new? What details do they want to know and why?
When you’re answering these questions, you’ll discover that there are various nuances that can make or break your story. It may be that your client wants to see only the positive aspects of their case presented in the media, but there is still something that they want to see represented. In this scenario, you may need to do some investigative reporting to find the facts behind the story. However, as an attorney, you also need to be mindful not to disclose any confidential information that could cost your client further legal fees. If you do this well, you can write an article that is both informative and entertaining. You can make your client proud and reward yourself for all of the effort that you put into the project.