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T. Jefferson: Blogger

Blogger and legal ethicist Ben Cowgill must be running out of room on his own blog, because his latest post appears instead on Larry Bodine's LawMarketing Blog. That aside, Cowgill's contention is this: "If Thomas Jefferson were alive today, there can be little doubt that he would have a law-related blog."

Cowgill's point is that lawyers who write blogs today follow a path blazed by great lawyers such as Jefferson long ago:

"The legal profession has a great tradition of writing and speaking about the law. Law-related blogs are merely a new example of that great tradition. Until the Internet came along, lawyers had to find other ways to share information about the law. ... Now, with the Internet and blogging software, it's possible for lawyers to continue that tradition in another way, and it is not surprising that many lawyers are choosing to do so."

Ethicist that he is, Cowgill is taking us towards an ethics-related conclusion about blogs -- that they are, in and of themselves, no more or less advertising than any other legal writing:

"There are not any more 'ethics issues' regarding blogs than there are regarding other aspects of what lawyers do. 'Advertising' is a subset of 'marketing.' All advertising is marketing, but not all marketing is advertising. A law firm web site is clearly an advertisement for legal services and a marketing activity. On the other hand, a lecture at a CLE seminar is a marketing activity but not an advertisement.  Those issues do not arise in connection with online journals ('blogs'), because blogs do not contain representations about the legal services that will be performed if the reader becomes a client of the lawyer."

Thomas Jefferson was an "information junkie," Cowgill says -- just like lawyers who blog today.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on December 14, 2006 at 05:24 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)


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