One of the most important skills that a business lawyer needs is superior writing ability. Every day, business lawyers are called upon to write unique letters and emails, draft customized contracts, convincing legal briefs, etc. While some documents can be created largely from word-processing, many, perhaps most, cannot – at least not if you want them to succeed in accomplishing your purposes, such as winning your case or fully advancing or protecting your interests. In those instances, creating a letter, contract, or even an email that is as effective as possible takes superior talent, as well as experience, judgment, and maturity.
The process starts with the lawyer acquiring a total comprehension of what the client wants the document to help accomplish. The next step, and just as important, is understanding who is going to review the document, and how they are likely to react to it – whether the reader is a prospective customer or contract partner, adverse party, judge, etc. An expert writer, like an expert negotiator, keeps the other party’s wherewithals firmly in mind in writing a letter, contract, email, etc. But many professional writers, including lawyers, make the mistake of writing only to satisfy their own perceived needs (i.e., what the writer feels should be said) as well as their own emotions (i.e., how to say what needs saying), without giving adequate thought to how what they are writing will be received by the other party. The difference between a letter, contract, or email which helps accomplish the client’s goal, and one that creates additional complications, is often the effort made by the drafting attorney to create something that’s designed with the reader’s specific attributes in mind. Just as knowing what to write takes considerable legal knowledge and experience, knowing how to write it – how to most effectively present the client’s needs and desires – requires an understanding of the other party’s needs, objectives, emotions, and all other pertinent circumstances. Many lawyers never even consider that.
Some parties require a great deal of explanation for what is being presented. Other parties will do best with just simplicity or summaries. For some people, empathy must be displayed. Other persons or entities can only be influenced by utilizing strong, intimidating language to create leverage. The best writers are equally adept and comfortable engaging in each of these styles, rather than taking a “one size fits all” approach to document drafting and communicating.
It requires many years of legal experience to know what substantive content to put into a contract, letter, email, or other writing. It takes just as much experience, and even more judgment, understanding, people skills, maturity, etc., to know best how to present and explain that content, to create the greatest likelihood of achieving the client’s ultimate objectives.
Our writing skills, knowledge, and experience have resulted in tens of thousands of letters, contracts, emails, legal briefs, etc., which successfully accomplished our business clients’ objectives. We would be happy to put that talent to work for you or your business.