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How to Get Started as a Legal Writer

Writers continue to be in demand around the world today. Whether working in an office setting or home-based, they enjoy a good salary. Those who work freelance and manage several projects are earning more.

The U.S. Department of Labor has predicted that jobs for legal writers and editors will increase by 10 percent up to 2016. This is attributed to the rising number of lawyers and other legal professionals in the U.S. and the launching of new legal publications both in print and on the web.

legal writer

A legal writer is just one of the many sought after writers these days. They are classified into the feature, web, corporate, brief news analysts and legal analysts. They do an important job for the legal industry such as creating newsletters, writing marketing copy, web content, legal blogs, news reports and attorney profiles.

To land in this kind of job requires a bachelor’s degree in writing, journalism, communications, English or related field. Having a law degree is a great advantage although it is not often required.

Skills Needed

If your interest is in legal writing, you need to know the basics of English grammar and usage as well as the mechanical components of writing. Writing should be something you’re passionate about, you know how to express your ideas clearly and in an organized manner and most importantly, you adhere to the strict deadlines.

Being a legal writer also requires research and editing skills particularly when it concerns legal terms. As such, it is essential that you know where to look for vital information and be willing to interview people particularly the experts in order to come up with the most comprehensive and relevant data possible.

Those writing for the web such as content writers and bloggers need to have additional skills. These include knowledge of SEO, HTML, keyword research and online content management systems (CMS).

How to Get Started

As more lawyers and law firms are recognizing the importance of a web presence, they are now creating websites and blogs where they can share vital information and updates with their clients and other internet users.

There are many employment opportunities awaiting legal writers today. The internet alone has vast resources available with hundreds of thousands of websites focusing on the legal industry and all you need to do is to research.

The Legal Writing Institute provides jobs for freelance legal writers.

Another website you can check is Simply Hired. The site offers employment for legal writers interested in writing articles and other relevant materials on legal issues.

Elance is also a great online resource for legal writing work. Just sift through the site and search for legal writers.

Make sure that you prepare a comprehensive and attractive resume and cover letter as well. These are the two most important documents that you need to submit to prospective employers whether you want to work in the office or in the comfort of your home.

If you’re targeting to work for a legal firm as their website content or blog writer, you can check the different specialized areas you want to focus on. For instance, if family or divorce law is what you’re most comfortable writing about, you can apply with a Pasadena divorce lawyer or a specific law firm with this kind of specialization.

Although some lawyers do the blog writing themselves, having a trusted writer will make their workload lighter. It will also free up their time so they can focus more on attending to their clients’ needs and other more important issues of their profession.