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Three Different Blogging Models for Law Firms

Kevin O'Keefe of LexBlog has an interesting post on three models for law firm blogging. The first model establishes a clear law firm brand, with a design that complements or is integrated into the law firm's Web site and a description of firm lawyers in the "about section." I've also noticed that the law firm model of blogging frequently fails to give attribution to the associates or individual attorneys who write each post.

A second law firm model is where a lawyer uses the blog to leverage association with a law firm. O'Keefe writes that sometimes lawyers within a firm want their own blog to develop their own book or business or because they're far ahead of the blogging curve, and the firm does not yet have a formal policy in place. In these cases, the lawyer will typically mention his or her affiliation with the firm -- and the blog may include the firm's branding or logo, but the attorney's identity, rather than that of the firm, predominates.

In the final business model, lawyers start the blog on their own. Some blogs have the firm's blessing, and others do not. The lawyer may mention his or her place of employment and frequently includes a disclaimer that the blog represents the attorney's view and not that of the firm. From what I can tell, this last model seems to have spawned some of the most successful blogs -- think Howard Bashman, Denise Howell and Ernie the Attorney, all of whom started their own "brand name" blogs while working at large firms.   

O'Keefe says that the last model is scariest for law firms because of concerns about protecting the firm's brand and image. But I think firms face a different danger when they allow lawyers to start blogs. As the previous examples show, starting a blog can serve as a springboard to moving on to bigger and better things -- that may or may not include their law firm.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on May 15, 2007 at 05:54 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)


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