Sounding like a pretentious academic works only if you’re a pretentious academic who’s writing for other pretentious academics. That means that the rest of you–the 99.4% of you–don’t need to use the word “persons.” You really don’t.
Insisting on “persons” will not make you sound more learned or important. Let your ideas do that for you.
The great John McIntyre of the Baltimore Sun agrees.