Should Attorney Bloggers Avoid Legal Jargon?

legal jargonThere is some debate as to what jargon or vocabulary is acceptable on legal blogs. This debate comes with support on both sides. In general however, it is often best to take a few factors into account when you begin any blog that can help you determine what vocabulary is going to be acceptable and what should be avoided. Thinking about these few factors can really help hone your blog and get your readers on the same page as you.

The first factor to consider is of course your overall audience. If you are writing for fellow law professionals, law students, or those that are going to understand terminology that you add to your content, go ahead and spout off as many legal words as you need. This will help to make your content seem more professional, will help your readers understand that you know just what you are talking about, and will help get your point across in the most succinct and to the point manner possible.

That being said, if you are writing for people that may be looking for legal services, someone that has not taken any law courses, or the average citizen that does not have any real ide about law or legal terminology, you may want to refrain. Using terminology does give your readers the feeling that you know what you are doing and what you are talking about, but it can also be confusing, can tend to trip up readers, and may discourage them from continuing to read your blog. In these instances where your audience is not other law professionals, avoid lofty terminology.

The next factor to consider is where your blog is being published. If you are going to have your content hosted on a law site or on a legal site or the site of a legal firm, professional terminology is going to be expected and needed to impart confidence in your skills and in your knowledge. If you are publishing in a legal setting, you should use the terminology that you need to in order to get your point across in a professional manner.

If you are publishing your content on a public forum where legal jargon is not the norm, you should avoid it. Say for instance your legal blog is hosted on a site like Tumblr or Reddit, you may not want to use lofty terminology as it can be confusing without the proper background and added information. This is something to keep in mind and can make a huge difference in the overall success of your blog.

The last thing to consider is how well you know the terminology yourself. If you feel confident enough that you can impart meaning without taking a break every thirty words to do a catch up definition, then go ahead and flex you vocab muscles. If you are simply using these terms and jargon because you feel you have to, you may want to avoid them.