“All professions are a conspiracy against the laity,” said George Bernard Shaw. In the legal profession, the best evidence of a conspiracy is the often impenetrable density and complexity of the law. It’s almost impossible for laypersons to understand the law and its processes. Lawyers perpetuate the conspiracy through their use of jargon and legalese.
There’s been a great deal of discussion, writing and study related to the costs of using legalese. But it does not seem there’s been much progress in convincing lawyers to communicate in a simpler, more accessible way.
This week, Attorney at Work published my take on why lawyers should – more than ever before – resolve to simplify their written communication style this year.
I’m not advocating we dumb-down the profession. I’m just saying that sometimes, when appropriate, we dial it back a bit. Clients won’t think less of lawyers if they communicate in plain English. Most clients will appreciate it. Judges, too. And it all starts with simplifying the primary means through which lawyers communicate: the written word.
Check out the post on Attorney at Work’s website by clicking here.