Clear writing... this could be a game-changer Quarter 2 2022

By HANS MUHLBERG, Published in Top Students 2021

As a lawyer who likes to write, I am occasionally asked for tips on how to write clearly. So the idea of writing a piece about clear writing has been on my radar for some time. I feel that we need to have a conversation around it, that we need to touch base.

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We all know that it's not a level playing field, but the good news is that you can most certainly improve your writing. But to do so, you need to think outside the box. You may even need to engage in some blue-sky thinking.

You will also need to put in the hard yards, push the envelope, give 110 per cent – there's no avoiding this, I'm afraid; it is what it is. But look on the bright side – you can already write a bit, so it's not exactly a case of needing to re-invent the wheel!

You will need help. Going forward, I suggest that you find a mentor, someone who can drill down – the two of you will need to synergise, you'll need to be on the same page, and you'll need to sing from the same hymn sheet.

Is it worth the effort, you ask? Dude, it's an absolute no-brainer. As your writing improves, your colleagues will start seeing you as one of those superstars who's blessed with core competencies, someone who's ahead of the curve. In time, you may even come to be regarded as a thought-leader. So yes, get your ducks in a row!

It's simple, really – the idea that good writing is important in business is clearly gaining traction, it's fast becoming the new normal. So, improving your writing skills is an absolute no-brainer, a win-win. And given that you already know how to write, don't see this as a negative, see it rather as a journey, a case of upping your game, a case of picking low-hanging fruit. Yes, I get that you're busy, but you will find the bandwidth.

Moving forward, there is a lot of work to do. But there is one tip I can share, a tip that's easy to remember, and a tip that will result in an immediate improvement in your writing. It's very simple:

Avoid buzzwords and jargon!

Muhlberg, is a SA, UK and EU qualified IP lawyer. He presently finds himself in the UK, offering consulting and content writing services to various law firms: muhlbergip@gmail.com.