Legal Blogging: Benefits and Pitfalls to AvoidLegal Compliance Resource
March 18, 2014 — 1,126 views
If you have decided to start legal blogging, you should first determine the purpose of your blog. Your blog should be of value to your readers, first and foremost, and you should be sincere and passionate about a particular area of legal practice. Merely marketing yourself should not be the sole purpose of legal blogging. It is important that you provide readers with valuable information through your posts. The primary benefit of legal blogging is that it ignites a conversation among people in the profession.
Legal blogging will lend a voice to your opinions and help create a knowledge hub so people know what you, as a lawyer, are capable of. You will also gain a lot of exposure to views of people in the same profession, or people who might want to seek your firm’s counsel. Writing is also a process of self-discovery. With legal blogging, you will be able to gain greater clarity on aspects you had never paid attention to earlier. Legal blogging could be a marketing tool, not to be used deliberately or on purpose, but by creating a wealth of good readable content.
Pitfalls to avoid
Legal blogging should not serve as an advertisement for your law firm, so avoid making your blog posts read like press releases. Readers are easily put off by blatant self-promotion, so stick to giving information and hoping they seek you out. State bars have committees which could pull you up for advertising, so check the rules of conduct on what your state bar defines as advertising. Also, attorneys and legal firms should steer clear of giving out details about clients, especially if there is an ongoing legal case. Even if you feel there’s nothing that could harm the reputation of the client, it is not good to mention details.
The other area of concern is the use of photographs used for representation purposes, without actually mentioning so. Also, legal blogging should not involve use of pictures with copyrights. As a legal professional, you should know better! Legal blogging should include all disclaimers that a blogger needs to give, in accordance to the state bar rules. These could be about the firm, about advertisement, or individual blog posts. Also, readers should not be given the impression that they can seek your advice via the blog. A disclaimer to that effect needs to be mentioned in your blog.