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Storytelling for Law Firms

May 2018

Lawyers are natural storytellers. In the courtroom while representing your client, you must be able to hold the attention of an audience—be it the judge or a jury. Weaving a story that hits relevant points and casts your client in the best light is part of the job.

Related: Effective Online Marketing for Law Firms

Storytelling is also a skill you should be using in your branding and content marketing. Remember: SEO is challenging for law firms because of how much competition there is in the legal space. To engage your visitors and boost your web rankings, you need content that is both informative and captivating. The latter side of that requirement can be accomplished most effectively through clear, vivid storytelling.

Think of it this way. Say you are a client looking for an answer to a legal question. You aren’t ready to call a lawyer or appoint legal counsel yet, so you start by typing your question into Google and seeing what comes up. You open two webpages that match your search and start reading.

The first post is an FAQ. It is dryly written and heavy on jargon and legalese. It’s clear the lawyer who wrote it knows their stuff, but the answer is so dense and difficult to read that it’s not serving its purpose. You might not even understand what the post is saying simply because it’s written from such an unwelcoming and formal point of view.

Rather than battle all the way to the end of the FAQ post, you wave the white flag and close the page, redirecting your attention to the other site you opened. This post is a blog that frames the answer to your question as a practical scenario.

It’s a clearly written, concise, and interesting narrative that looks at a potential legal situation not unlike the one you are dealing with and explains the best practices for dealing with it. Instead of legalese and jargon, the blog post has characters, action, and an easy-to-understand answer to your question. You read the post all the way to completion, and you may call the lawyer who wrote it for further consultation and advice—or representation.

If you’ve read this far, you’ve probably realized that most of this blog post has been framed as a theoretical narrative. We’ve placed you in the middle of a real-life scenario and used that scenario to illustrate why storytelling is good for law firms.

In the process, we’ve shown what most of your prospective clients are actually looking for on the web. You might think writing a post full of legal language makes you look like a knowledgeable and technically skilled attorney (and it probably does). For the average person, though, this style of writing is dull and inaccessible. In contrast, a narrative blog that discusses a legal issue or question in basic terms is easier to comprehend and more relatable for 99 percent of the people reading your site.

You can and should use storytelling across your website—from FAQs to blogs to video content—to help clients understand legal issues as they apply to real life. If you need help brainstorming and drafting narrative-based content, Inherent can lend a hand.