Writing like an In-house lawyer

5 minutes

If you’re thinking of working as an in-house lawyer or you’ve just started, there’s one thing you need to change—your writing style. 📝




Most law schools teach you to write with Latin words, citations, footnotes and a healthy dose of legal jargon to show you know what you’re talking about. You need to unlearn that to get legal messages across to your in-house team or clients.


Business writing is about getting key information across in a clear and accurate way. Make sure you write to be understood. This doesn’t mean compromising on your legal knowledge, but mastering how to translate that for non-legal minds. Here are a few pointers:


  • Have a key question to answer? Put the answer to the question right at the top. Don’t make them read down for the most important information. If there’s no simple answer, put the most likely answer at the start, then add details.
  • Learn how your business colleagues communicate and pick up on the finance terms and other non-legal terms that will help tune your writing to include terms they’re familiar with.
  • Do you even need to write it down? Sometimes, what you really need to do is pick up the phone. Verbal communication is speedy and can help businesses crack on.


In-house lawyers are there to enable businesses to succeed with the right legal framework, so a big part of your job is effective communication.


So be prepared to translate your vast legal knowledge for non-legal minds!


What do you think? Do you already have to do this in your current role?