The Easiest Formula for Effective Legal Content

The Easiest Formula for Effective Legal Content
There have been countless articles written about the drab content found on legal websites. As an attorney, you’ve undoubtedly read about all of the things you’re doing wrong: your copy is boring, you talk about yourself too much, you include a bulleted list of your experience, you have too much content, you don’t have enough content, and the list goes on. And while there is no shortage of articles detailing the common faux pas, there are few that actually provide a solution to the stale content. Below, you’ll find a simple formula that serves as the perfect framework for effective content.

The They Need/You Provide Model
Now this may sound overly simplistic but the framework for your site copy should consist of two main lists: what they need and what you provide. Piece of cake, right?

To get started, create a numbered list where you will explore what your ideal client needs when looking for legal counsel. This list, and consequently your content, will be very disjointed if you don’t take time to identify your target audience so be sure to do that first then set out to complete the task outlined below.

For example, a list for a solo bankruptcy attorney might look like the following:

They Need:

  1. Someone who is sympathetic to what they’re going through and will make them feel comfortable. In the case of bankruptcy, where a client may feel ashamed, having an attorney who isn’t judgmental may be paramount. You understand these emotions better than anyone be sure to list each one.
  2. An attorney with experience who can help them out of the financial mess they find themselves in.
  3. Affordable rates because the thought of any additional expense may immediately create a barrier for a prospective client.
  4. An end to the harassing debt collector calls.
  5. Someone who can simplify what seems like a complex, and intimidating, process.


Once you’ve listed what your prospective client needs, it’s time to go to work and pinpoint the exact service or benefit that you provide to address that need. Your list might look like the following:

I Provide:

  1. I understand my clients’ concerns on a very personal level. Raised by a single mother, I always saw her work hard but still struggle to make ends meet. I treat each client with respect and one goal – to relieve some of that same worry that plagued my own family.
  2. I have worked exclusively in the area of bankruptcy and have helped 672 clients successfully file for bankruptcy. I’m also a member of 2 different professional bankruptcy organizations so I am kept on the cutting edge of what’s going on in this area of law.
  3. I don’t charge for the initial consultation which removes that initial barrier and then can speak about specific fees for their case. Generally, fees range from $1100 to $2000. I offer flexible payment options and accept all major credit cards. For me, it isn’t about the money, it’s about helping others get a fresh start.
  4. While creditor harassment is illegal, it sadly does occur. Declaring bankruptcy does stop these calls, and in cases where collections agencies, violate the law, I do aggressively pursue a claim against them.
  5. I understand that the entire process of bankruptcy is terrifying to most. Although I work in it every day, it is probably your first experience with the process (and in many cases, even your first time working with an attorney). I try my hardest to translate all of this into plain English, making sure you understand how the actions we take together will impact your future. Throughout this website, you’ll provide some general information which I hope addresses some of these concerns.

By simply addressing the concerns you’ve listed, you’ve built a solid framework for your content – one that will allow you to easily draft compelling copy that resonates with readers because it succinctly addresses their concerns and the specific advantages of retaining your firm. This efficient model is quick and easy, and can be used for just about any marketing messaging.

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Dolores Obrien

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