Getting you know you better – Roger J Gould

on 19 August, 2010 Email this Email this - Print this Print this

The third of our in-depth look at our service providers meets Roger Gould, CoreLegal’s copywriter extraordinaire. We find out more about Roger, the services he offers, we get a ‘top tip’ and valuable insights into the need for a consistent approach to your firm’s written communications.

Roger J Gould

One of the older guys in the CoreLegal team, I have many years writing experience as well as teaching English. I was a late entrant to that particular gladiatorial discipline having spent an earlier lifetime in industry and commerce, starting in the offices of a multi-national who found me useful as a company secretarial assistant. I enjoy working with lawyers because they generally have no idea how impenetrable is the writing they offer me.

Question: What’s the difference between a cat and a solicitor? (Answer at the end of the article)

Services offered

  • Service letters
  • Sales Letters
  • Newsletters
  • Handbooks and manuals
  • Promotional
  • Brochure copy
  • Tidying up translations from foreign languages
  • Web copy

The Value of Good Writing

A poorly or unfortunately worded standard service letter can do much undetected harm by annoying clients or potential clients; I offer a health check on all such stock letters, which can often be turned into positive rather than negative communications.

You should always remember that every communication that leaves your practice is a sales opportunity – if you are paying the postage you might as well make it work hard. Statements of account and renewal notices can contain flyers reminding clients of impending events (National Wills Week), services you wish to develop ( a new member has joined with a new specialism) or an agency or franchise held by the practice. Direct mail shots to clients can draw attention exactly the same areas to expand the practice turnover. Newsletters can mitigate the risk of losing clients to other practices simply because they had forgotten you, or had a misconception of your services, as well as alerting clients to changes in the law or tax regimes of which they should be aware.

In these highly regulated days a practice handbook of ‘best practice’ can ensure that the same high standard is present throughout the organisation. It may sound a Sisyphean task but part of my service is to take on chores like this so you can continue to what you do best.

I do not handle any translation work but, frequently, mother tongue translators remain short on idiomatic and grammatical skills, so I can apply a final polish to their work before you are embarrassed by any lapses.

I have mentioned the opacity of legalese, this is particularly significant when it devalues a web page, and I have wide experience of preparing web copy.

Top Tip

Give me access to someone who can say ‘Yes’ or ‘No’.  There is nothing more frustrating than the fifth revision, unless it is the sixth.

What’s New?

If you are evolving into one of the new multi disciplinary practices then you will be aware that some of your competitors have been competing, with fewer restraints than you, for many years. Your promotional literature needs to sell, and you may find this adjustment difficult; your need for copy which uses your image to best effect while pulling in the punters has never been greater.

One of the most fascinating developments of recent years has been the emergence of the niche firm, specialising in very esoteric markets. Often they require literature which explains their services to other professionals, who need their specialist knowledge of specific aspects of law, in simple terms, which also convinces the reader to retain them.

Answer: One has claws at the end of its paws, and the other has a pause at the end of its clause.


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