Tips on Creating a Great Avvo Legal Guide
The articles we consider to be a cut above the rest basically follow the same principles as our voice and tone guidelines. The main gist from our guidelines is that we LOVE it when attorneys write like this.
You provide the information and guidance so consumers know what to do next. Guidance is very important, because most consumers have a legal problem that they want fixed--so tell them how to fix it. It's especially important that you let them know when they really do need an attorney to get the solution done right; we know that DIY doesn't really work for many legal issues.
Use plain English. Anyone should be able to read your legal guide and understand it. This means that you shouldn't be using legalese, or citing statutes all over the place. I know from personal experience that law professors take great pains to beat plain/simple writing into the heads of their students, and yet so many lawyers forget that rule once they get out into the real world. The bottom line: you're not going to help anyone if no one can even understand what you're trying to say.
We love, love, love it when attorneys use our how-to guide template. Why? Because it really helps a reader when they see the information broken down into steps. See an example right here. If you choose to use our free-form template, then follow the same principle: use headers, bolding, and bullets or lists to break the text into more digestible chunks. Once logged in, attorneys can access the How-to Legal Guide template http://www.avvo.com/list_legal_guides/new as well as the video template http://www.avvo.com/video_legal_guides/new.