You feel nervous about publishing something, right? You should be, a bit – but don’t let it put you off.
Some things to bear in mind:
- get a partner to vet your idea and your draft, for technical accuracy
- defer to the senior person on points of law (unless you can show you’re right), but not always on stylistic matters (as an articling student, I stood my ground when a partner insisted that theirself was a word)
- check whether your firm acts for any party you’re talking about – you don’t want to say anything a client might not like
- be cautious in taking positions on public issues – your firm may represent parties with interests at stake, even if those parties aren’t mentioned specifically in your blog post or update
- humour is good, but be careful; it can backfire
- consider anti-spam legislation (basically, no commercial electronic messages to parties with whom you don’t have an existing business relationship)
- if available, have your marketing or communications people check the formatting of your piece and run a draft by you before publication
On a more positive note:
- write about something that clients will find interesting
- pitch it at a level that will engage, not alienate, your reader
- write plain, understandable prose – not Latinate legal mumbo jumbo (which will alienate your reader)
- explain why this new case or statutory provision (or whatever) is relevant: what does the client need to do, be aware of, avoid?
Now that I think of it, many of these are useful pointers for partners, too.
Now, get writing.
Next time: lose the Latin.