Why Small Law Firms Can No Longer Ignore Blogging

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!


attorney blogs

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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3 Responses to "Why Small Law Firms Can No Longer Ignore Blogging"

  1. HI Paramjit, excellent points. All small law firms should be blogging, big ones, too, but hey they know better. As for branding, I think there is a tendancy in the UK for lawyers and Barristers to blog independantly of their firms. That said, they’re lawyers from smaller firms doing exactly what we’re clearly both advocates of. I’ve started a site to try and attract small to medium size firms that want the exposure a blog gives but not the hassle that setting one up involves. For lawyers, the time spent writing one is enough especially if you’re a small firm where time writing one will impact greatly on billable time. Also, marketing a blog takes time, which is why I try and do it for them!

  2. Paramjit L. Mahli says:

    Hello Richard,

    Many thanks for your feedback.

    Social Media is far too big to ignore. Lawyers are intelligent and truly most of marketing and business development does not require a Ph.d., but the trick is to find what they like doing and then implement/delegate/outsource it.

    Bottom-line they have to be wise and consider where they will get the greatest bang for their pound/dollar. There is only certain number of hours in the day and you cannot do it all. I have to confess I’ve seen lawyers take it all on and waste ALOT of time because they are not focusing on their strengths and thought they were saving money.

  3. I don’t know whether this would be considered a blog or not. I’ve done something a little different. In 1994, Lawyers Cooperative Publishing published a treatise I co-wrote with my father, the Delaware Trial Handbook. It was supplemented through 1998, when the publishing house was purchased and the book went out of print (although the book continued to be cited in Delaware judicial opinions). The copyright was assigned to me.

    In 2010, I decided to revive and update the book. But instead of offering it in book form, I decided to make it available for free on my firm website as a marketing device (which I hope in the long run will prove more economically lucrative). I have noticed a significant increase in unique website visits since uploading the book. Further, updates can be added quicker as relevant case law comes out.

    If anyone is interest, it is available at http://www.delawgroup.com/dth.

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