Posts Tagged ‘legal blogs’

How many posts needed to start your blog?

August 5, 2010

This article about what will make your blog more attention grabbing is a good one but not totally appropriate for attorneys.  Legal blogs should be educational and focused on rich content and not scream “slick and superficial.”

However, one piece of advice is very useful and that is to have 7-10 blog posts on your blog before you launch.  This gives readers something to engage with and lets them know whether they should return based on the tone and topics you’ve already blogged about.

Law firm blogs: give them distinctive voices

June 25, 2010

Here is a long post on law firm blogging which is worth reading.  I think its more focused on larger firms but one thing resonated strongly with me:

Let your people go. The one thing about law firm blogs in 2010 that has most pleasantly surprised me is the emergence of lawyers’ true voices and personalities in their blogs.”

This is good news indeed.  For too long, too many attorney blogs were four line titles and boring legalese that did nothing but re-enforce existing stereotypes of lawyers.  If you are going to blog make sure you are tapping into something authentic, something you care about.

If the content of your practice isn’t what gets you up in the morning but instead its the excitement of working with your team to solve client problems, then make that the subject of your blog.  Blogs are like the camera: they reveal the truth.   A boring blog means that you aren’t being honest about your passions.

Fun with Big Law Websites

May 11, 2010

Fulton County Daily Report has some fun with big law firm websites in its First Annual Law Firm website awards — the Big Law Webbies.  This does seem like an easy target and you can read their catches here.  However, they make fun of Womble Carlyle for having a “furniture law blog” believing this blog unbelievably esoteric.  I disagree.

The biggest problem with this blog from my perspective is that the most recent posting is more than a month old.  But here four reasons why I think such a blog makes sense:

1.  Targeted to a specific audience: This blog is focused on an industry so furniture industry in-house counsel will be interested and probably some CEOs of furniture companies as well.

2.  Makes the firm standout from competing firms:  If I was a GC for a furniture maker, I would be  more impressed with a law firm that had a blog focused on my industry than firms that didn’t.

3.  Focused first on an industry rather than legal practice:  Given that a law firm’s clients are often GCs working in a specific industry, they are going to be interested in articles that pertain to legal issues in that industry.  Also, the blog tagline makes clear that the blog is covering intellectual property issues as they relate to the furniture industry.

4.  The furniture industry is big:  manufacturing alone produces more than $30 billion in the U.S.  Why shouldn’t it have a blog devoted to legal issues specific to its needs?

Top law blog list sparks debate

December 6, 2009

Mark Herrmann, whose blog Drug and Device Law got selected as a top 100 legal blog in the Third Annual ABA Journal Blaw 100, wonders why Amlaw 200 firms aren’t well represented on this list.  Read his post here but to summarize, he thinks a key factor is that attorneys have difficulty writing in an engaging and funny voice.  As a result, their blogs tend to be boring.

In response, Kevin O’Keefe, whose company Lexblog produces many of the Amlaw 200’s blogs, provides a list of promenient law blogs his company has developed

One of those blogs includes the following headline: “Chancery court appoints receiver of dissolved corporation pursuant to DGCL section 279 despite three year period in section 278”

Two problems: the headline is too long to read at a glance and too technical.  I get that most legal blogs are written for other attorneys and even other attorneys with an interest in this particular area of law.   But really, do you want your audience limited to those folks who immediately recognize the difference between DGCL section 278 and 279?  If the answer is “yes” then this is a fine headline if not, then why not lead with a teaser?

For example, “Chancery’s new ruling could change old law.”  I have no idea if this headline is flat out wrong but “could” provides cover and if I’m someone just interested in new corporate legal developments generally, I might go ahead and click on this headline to investigate.  I may know nothing about DGCL 278 but the headline could be enough to spark my interested. 

And maybe I look at the post and decide its way over my head but I’ve had a chance to see the name of the attorney and to be impressed that he or she knows far more than I do about this area of law.  I will file away that information should I decide to hire an attorney in this field later.  Also the headline has generated a hit on the blog.  But if I see this headline and my eyes glaze over, then I’ll never take that next step.

Back to the question of how law blogs get selected for the top 100 list.   Mark Herrman is on to something about tone and engagement but remember that starts with the headline.  Also remember the statistic that far more people glance at a webpage than read it so if your nineteen word headline can’t be comprehended at a glance, then you’ve lost a lot of potentail readers.