Back in March, I had a two-hour business development coaching session with a lawyer who is a partner in a small law firm. He expressed interest in starting his own blog but was hesitant to do so since the firm he belongs to is very traditional and conservative. The firm in question has no policies in place for blogging and social media. As expected, our lawyer is concerned about the legalities of blogging and how his firm would look at it.
We live in an information driven age; it is IMPERATIVE for lawyers and law firms, regardless of size, to have a blog. A static web site is not going to cut it when general counsels/clients/prospects are becoming more and more obsessed in getting their hands on the latest information and are inevitably turning to google to “check you out.” A blog is one of the best ways to disseminate information about the attorney, practice and court rulings.
Statistics from the latest “The State of the AmLaw 200 Blogosphere,” released November 2010 by The Lexblog Network, shows that 62% of the 2010 AmLaw 200 law firms are now blogging, an increase of 115% since network first released the first ever State of the AmLaw Blogosphere in August 2007. However, more impressive is the fact the number of blogs published by the AmLaw 200 has grown 420% in the same time span. From 74 blogs in August 2007, lawyers working for law firms included in the AmLaw 200 are now publishing 387 blogs! This is no fuzzy maths. This is a HUGE increase!
Is that growth slowing down? Not according to that industry report. The number of blogging lawyers has grown 28% in the last 7 months, while the total number of blogs being published has grown by 29%. There seems to be nothing in the horizon that would hamper this growth,.In fact, I think it would only grow more as lawyers like my client (yes, a baby boomer!) become more interested in starting their own blogs and realize that Social Media is here to stay.
To Brand or Not to Brand
Let us return to my client. As a lawyer, it’s in his nature to be concerned about the legalities of starting his own blog outside of the firm. He has every reason to be concerned but this should not prevent him from creating one. Out of the 387 legal blogs published by AmLaw 200 lawyers, 70 of these blogs are not firm branded, meaning the firm’s name and/or logo doesn’t appear anywhere on the blog.
Having a non-branded blog is a possiblilty for associates and partners of law firms of all sizes. With the right blogging and social media policy in place, they can start their own blogs and claim their own brass plate in the legal blogosphere. Bottom-line: a full out social media programme may not be for every law firm. But its a relatively inexpensive way to start marketing and building the practice.
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The SCG Legal PR Network is offering a free telephone consultation on social media to anyone who is interested in developing a social media policy for their solo practice or firm. Click the link below to schedule your free consultation now.