Explaining Lawyers’ Explanations

Lawyers are not known for their clear and understandable explanations of legal issues. In fact, the language most lawyers use in attempting to communicate legal concepts is often referred to as “legalese.” Merriam Webster defines “legalese” as “the language used by lawyers that is difficult for most people to understand,” or more precisely, “legal jargon.” Although legal language is important to communicate complex legal concepts and principles, such language is not easily understood by laypersons. To paraphrase Lord Byron’s Don Juan, most people wish lawyers would “explain their explanations.”

My parents were both educators and I seriously considered entering the teaching profession until I made the decision to go to law school. As a lawyer who understands legal jargon but who also appreciates education, I always seek to make mysterious legal concepts accessible in an easy-to-understand manner.

However, making general legal concepts accessible should not be conflated with a “do-it-yourself approach.” The law is complex and what can appear to be simple on the surface can involve a myriad of nuances that can create devastating consequences if not fully recognized or understood. The perfect scenario is for clients to understand enough of the general legal concepts to make informed decisions while leaving it up to their lawyers to make sure the complex technical aspects of the project are addressed.  

My website, http://www.lawyerplaybook.com/ gives the public access to general legal concepts in an understandable manner. The website features three main sections: videos, articles, and a legal directory.

1. Videos

In the videos section, you can watch 5 to 10 minute videos about a variety of estate planning topics, from basic concepts such as “What is a Revocable Living Trust” to more sophisticated ideas such as “Preserving California Prop. 13 Property Tax Basis.” Currently there are eight such videos with new videos on the way.

2. Articles / Blog

The blog section features articles about general estate planning concepts. Many of the articles are my own which have appeared on my law firm’s website and in the Cedar Street Times. Other articles were contributed by other colleagues about various topics of interest.

3. Lawyer Directory

As the videos and articles posted on my website and on other platforms have gained attraction, people from around the country have expressed interest in working with a knowledgeable attorney to help them with the various topics that I have addressed. As I am unable to represent everybody, I am building a directory of estate planning attorneys. The directory currently features attorneys in all three West Coast states and will be expanding in due time.

It is essential to understand that the information presented on the website is by no means a viable substitute for the proper personal counsel of a licensed attorney.  Nevertheless, I encourage you to visit http://www.lawyerplaybook.com/ to become generally familiar with key legal concepts in order to prepare you to work with your attorney to accomplish your goals.

KRASA LAW, Inc. is located at 704-D Forest Avenue, Pacific Grove, California 93950 and Kyle may be reached at 831-920-0205.

Kyle is also the founder of Lawyer Playbook, LLC.  For more information, please visit http://www.lawyerplaybook.com/.com

Disclaimer: This article is for general information only.  Reading this article does not establish an attorney-client relationship.  Before acting upon any of the information presented in this article, you should consult an attorney who is licensed to practice law in your community.