How to write a legal article

Updated: Sep 17



What are different kinds of topics on which one can write a legal article?

Following are some of the major areas on which one can get their hands on

  1. Case Analysis

  2. Answer to a Legal question

  3. Legal views on controversial topics

  4. How to do XYZ legal Compliance

  5. Trends in the area of your practice

  6. Latest development in the legal field

  7. Analysis of recent judgments.

If you are a student then select a topic, which is currently going on in your class. For example, if you are in your 1st year then choose your topic related to topics like tort law. Through this, you’ll not only have a command over the subject but will easily create a quality article.

What to do after selecting a topic?

Let's take an example; you have decided to write a case analysis on recent developments. Now what? Since you’ve decided to write a case analysis, it is very important to have an outline in your mind before you begin. Just take a rough paper and make the structure of the article.

Ideally, a case analysis should have the following heads:

  1. Introduction of the case

  2. Petitioner’s Arguments

  3. Respondent’s Arguments

  4. Judgment

  5. Dissenting Opinion

  6. Your personal Comments

Researching

The next important step in writing an article is to do substantive research work about the topic. Following are the ways in which you can do so:

  1. Read good news articles.

  2. Visit government sites as the data on their website will be true and genuine.

  3. Bookmark all the sites that you find relevant so that you can refer to them in future. Shortcut to bookmark a page on Google chrome is “ctrl+d”.

  4. It is recommended to add a reference link if your article contains some factual information.

How to start writing?

Now, since you are ready with a structure as to how your article will look, it is crucial for you to understand how to make it more presentable along with making sure that it engages the target audience.

Make sure you don’t copy-paste any content from other sites. This amounts to plagiarism and is ethically not right. Start your article as if you are telling someone a story, but on point.

Deciding a title

The title is the most important part of any article if the title isn’t appealing to the readers, then all your hard work goes in vain. The headline must ensure the attention of its readers. The document should be written with a justified title. Try to keep it similar to how the reader will search for it. Fancy titles are not helpful for the reader. Write a simple title, maybe in form of a question that your article answers.

Since only the headline is shown on the Google webpage so make sure the content of your article should be in connection with the headline otherwise readers won't like it. Furthermore, the headlines should involve effective keywords, which most people lookup for.

Paragraphs, Headings and Formatting

Nobody feels interested in reading a write-up with no or improper full stops, commas, exclamation mark, question mark etc. or when the text is not bifurcated into defined paragraphs. Whenever you’re writing something, make sure that you break your article into multiple paragraphs of 3-8 lines.

Readers don’t pay much attention to long paragraphs. Add sub-headings to your article at multiple places. The sub-headings divide the content of the article into different sections, which helps the reader understand the topic in a better way.

Google recognizes the text written in heading and sub-headings and decides which article should be shown on top of the search results. Keyword-rich headings and subheadings are always beneficial to you.

Use of links in an Article

Your article may be based on facts, opinions, or arguments made somewhere else. Sometimes you can briefly mention related articles to maintain the connectivity of the article. In such cases, you can simply add a hyperlink to the original source. If you're writing a blog online, hyperlinking is much more effective than footnotes.

Proofreading and preparing a final copy

After you've finished your article, go over it again and correct any duplicate statements, grammatical errors, or typos. You cannot afford to publish an article that is grammatically incorrect or inappropriate under any circumstance. The information that you provide on your blog should be correct and updated. Outdated or inaccurate information will not generate the focus of the readers.

Other Key points

Do not write lengthy introductions and conclusions; get to the point quickly.

For example, you have to write an article on Laws pertaining to Abetment to suicide in India. Now, many law students will write on this topic with headings surrounding ‘what is abetment, what is abetment to Suicide, percentage of people convicted in cases pertaining to Abetment to Suicide and abetment to suicide in UK and USA’ etc. and will keep on going before coming to the actual idea of different laws pertaining to Abetment to suicide in India.

Understand the importance of Bullet points.

The more you write in bullet points and numbered lists, the better your article will be received by its readers. It is not appreciated to write huge chunky paragraphs. Try to break the content of your article into various bullet points.

Headings:

The headings and subheading should be linked with Styles -> Heading 1 and Heading 2 of Google docs. Google prefer documents with the linked style instead of a normal text.

Easy to scan for readers:

Most readers skim through the article first to see if it is worth a read. So add more subheadings, bullet points and paragraph breaks.

Explain the technical terms:

The general audience is not familiar with technical legal terms. If it is absolutely necessary to use legal jargons, then simplify them for readers who come from a non-legal background.

Citation style:

References should be cited properly through a hyperlink. Wherever possible, use a hyperlink instead of footnotes for a better reach.

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