cbareport-dec12 - page 10

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December 2012 CBA REPORT
tech tip
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By Glenna Herald
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rticles alerting the legal field to
the rapidly growing number of
legal blogs, otherwise known as
blawgs, continue to populate the trade
journals. Writers often liken this influx
of blawgs to an overwhelming flood or an
overgrown garden. They advise readers
to construct arks or sharpen trowels in
order to manage this relatively new phe-
nomenon of too much information.
While many of these articles warn
of the potential perils of information
overload, others encourage professionals
to embrace and contribute to the blawg-
ging craze. “Law firms can and should
use blogs to expand their business,
1
” said
LexisNexis Director of Product Manage-
ment Robyn Raybould Schmidt during a
June 15, 2011 presentation.
This is reasonable advice, considering
83.1 percent of law firms surveyed are us-
ing, or are planning to use, blogs as part
of their social media marketing plan,
according to a 2012 survey by Vizibil-
ity and LexisNexis.
2
Attorney Kandice
K. Bridges agrees. In a
Paralegal Today
article, she claims more blogs equal more
information, giving attorneys and parale-
gals numerous prospects to expand their
knowledge base.
3
The well-worn adage
“information is power” sums her argu-
ment up well.
One of the many benefits of incorpo-
rating blogs into social media marketing
strategies is that they provide practi-
tioners with opportunities to connect
directly to the public. Blawggers quickly
share their thoughts and opinions about
current news and events. And because
blogs give readers a forum to react to
Exploring the Legal
Blogosphere
such thoughts and opinions, an online
conversation ensues and, it is hoped, a
relationship develops, says Schmidt.
Some practitioners might think a
simple conversation with potential clients
is too froufrou of a reason to invest valu-
able time blogging. Schmidt, however,
encourages practitioners to view the act
of blogging as a different definition of
practice development.
“Blogging is the best non-billable
hour you can spend,” she said in her
presentation.
Schmidt also reminded attorneys how
difficult it is for a potential client, going
through a highly stressful situation like a
bankruptcy or divorce, to search for and
then call a legal professional. The thought
of making contact with an unknown
attorney can overwhelm an emotionally
overwrought consumer. A thoughtful
blog, which expresses a firm’s expertise,
as well as philosophy, introduces readers
to your practice and, by cultivating an air
of familiarity, could assuage the anxiety
one embroiled in legal action may have
about hiring an attorney.
Competitive intelligence research is
another good reason for a legal profes-
sional to explore the blogosphere and
its possibilities, according to an article
written by Christina K. Pikas.
4
Practitio-
ners can gain valuable insights about the
competition and their clients by reading
their blogs. While analyzing others’ blog
posts, pay attention to what they are and
are not writing about and why. What can
you glean from the posted comments?
Can you translate these elements into
an entertaining and informative post for
your blog?
The Art of Blogging
How does a busy attorney put togeth-
er an interesting and informative blog?
Schmidt suggests writing pithy titles to
blog entries, limiting blog posts to 250 to
350 easily digestible words, creating top
ten lists and quizzes, and asking readers
questions.
Additionally, blogs should be updated
regularly to win faithful readers. In the
blogosphere, still waters do not run deep.
They stagnate. Successful bloggers work
to keep their updates fresh, posting new
content consistently.
To learn more about blog construc-
tion, visit Blogger at
This free service provides would-be blog-
gers with customizable templates to build
and maintain a blog with ease. Other
low-cost or no cost blog software can be
One of the many benefits of incorporating blogs
into social media marketing strategies is that
it provides practitioners with opportunities to
connect directly to the public.
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