Lawyers blogging

Sarah Kellogg has written an article for lawyers interesting in blogging titled "Do you blog?".  This long article has been published on "Washington Lawyer" and is worth the read, whether you are a lawyer or not.  Like many articles of this type, it discusses the differences between a blog and a ‘traditional’ web site and points out the advantages of blogs.

“Blogs allow for easy access to information and make it easier for
lawyers with similar practice interests to get in contact with each
other,?? says Stephanie Tai, an appellate environmental litigator for
the federal government and cocreator of the Blawg Review, which tracks
articles and commentaries in law review journals. “I think it helps
overcome a lot of the hierarchy present in the profession as well.
Because of my blog, I’ve been able to correspond with various law
professors who I don’t think I would’ve come into contact with

I have been speaking to a couple people in my firm and outside the firm about using a blog instead of simply posting links to downloadable newsletters.  So far, there isn’t much of an appreciation for what a blog could do for client communication.

Compared to a web site, a blog remains a cheaper and more fluid vehicle
for communicating on the web. By forgoing the bells and whistles its
web site kin features—databases that allow for extensive searching, for
instance—the blog can be a quicker and easier content management tool.
A blog can be updated a dozen times a day, if necessary. Even the
hippest web sites are considered stodgy by bloggers; they say web sites
lack the freewheeling enterprise of blogs, which can spark a worldwide
debate in a flash.

Of course an obvious advantage of a blog is that you can publish news and updates as and when they come out.  I often find that some of the items I post in this blog, for example, are only reported on in some local news sites a couple days after my post is published.  Law journals are rarely published on an ad hoc basis and this means that developments in the law are only published some time after they occur.  The problem is that lawyers often need to know about these developments as soon as they occur because there are always cases involving the same or similar principles as these reported cases and these developments have an impact on the newer cases.

The greatest contribution blogs may make to the legal profession is
their ability to reveal talent and expertise often hidden in courtrooms
and boardrooms. Blogs excel at getting the word out, and observers say
lawyers who embrace them are bound to be rewarded with fans and fame.

Instead of waiting for months or years to be published in a
legal journal or magazine, attorneys can pen a short article or
commentary expressing their views on any range of subjects,
dramatically cutting the time it takes to reach colleagues and the

The blogosphere is teeming with topic-specific blogs that have
won kudos from legal experts for their ability to supply timely
information that is unique and hard to find.

(via the [non]billable hour)






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