As part of our legal content production, we use quite a few outside authors. We have to use expert freelance authors to publish reliable legal information at the scale that Nolo does. These freelancers are mostly lawyers, but we do occasionally use non-lawyer authors, such as paralegals or other professionals.
In order to ensure that we employ only the most qualified writers, each candidate has to pass a test in the area of law they wish to write about. Each test is conceived by the editor for that particular area.
What We Look For
The most basic, critical skill we look for is the ability to take a piece of legislation or legal jargon, digest it, and translate it into plain English. It’s at the core of what Nolo does; make law accessible to everyone. Our authors must be able to explain intricate, nuanced legal concepts in such a way that any layperson can easily understand it.
While this may sound simple, it’s a skill we have found incredibly difficult to recruit for.
Many people that apply to write for Nolo write very well, and are incredibly knowledgeable about the law, but they can’t explain the topic in plain English. There are plenty of sites out there, government and private, that publish legal information that most people just can’t (or don’t want to) read. It seems many competent law experts just can’t let go of their education and training and discuss a legal topic in language that everyone can “get”.
Want to Give it a Shot?
If you’ve got legal experience and want to apply to be a Nolo writer, go to www.knowledgewriting.com, sign up and choose from one of the legal categories. You’ll need to provide a writing sample and test which will then be screened by one of our editors.