Plain language in family law made head way early this year with the Attorney General’s office releasing Family Law TermFinder, a plain language tool explaining common family law terms.
When writing in family law – for either clients or colleagues – it is important to strike a balance between authority and readability.
If you are writing for clients, aim to write for a student in grade 10 or below. If you are writing for colleagues, you can use a more complex style, but they won’t thank you for making the text harder than necessary to follow.
A study by the Victorian Law Reform Commission gave two groups of lawyers different copies of the Takeovers Code: the traditional version and a version in plain English. Both groups were able to understand the two versions, but the group with the plain English version read it in one-third to one-half less time than those working with the traditional text.
Altitude Public Relations has a strong interest in plain language and experience in working with law. If you would like to review your standard letters and documents from a plain language perspective, please contact us.