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The Power of Legal Blogging

Will legal bloggers soon find themselves hounded by paparazzi? According to "The Search for Intelligent Life in the Blogosphere," an article in this month's California Lawyer magazine, Southern California legal blogger J. Craig Williams was all the way Down Under at a restaurant in Sydney when a complete stranger called out to him, "I know you. You write that blog!" Williams, whose blog is part of the Law.com blog network (and with whom I co-host the podcast Lawyer2Lawyer), told the magazine he was stunned. "I thought to myself, 'I'm this little guy from Newport Beach traveling halfway around the world, and somebody knows me!'"

The story, as the article concludes, illustrates the power of blogging. But despite that power, many California lawyers "are still scratching their heads about blogs," writes author Jeanette Borzo. (They are not alone, as Carolyn Elefant noted in a post here Friday.) As long-time legal blogger Denise Howell puts it, "People haven't figured out how to reduce the noise-to-signal ratio. It has become somewhat overwhelming." Still, blogging success stories abound, says Borzo in this article dubbed a "survival guide to legal blogs":

It worked for Kristie D. Prinz. When her former firm, Pennie & Edmonds, closed its doors in 2003, the young intellectual property attorney decided it was time to launch her own firm (The Prinz Law Office in Los Gatos). That meant establishing a name and getting known quickly among potential clients as an expert.

Prinz, then 31, set up a blog straight away. And soon, prospective clients began mentioning that they had seen her California Biotech Law Blog. Two years later, she had a steady stream of media attention. 'Having a blog on relevant issues helps establish you as an expert to potential clients,' Prinz says. 'And if you're building your practice, that's exactly what you're looking to do.'

Sure, blogging also has "an underbelly," Borzo writes. For one, blogging carries the potential of getting caught up in virtual fisticuffs, leading to public black eyes and legal entanglements. Still, blog producer Kevin O'Keefe tells Borzo that he predicts the number of legal blogs will continue to grow, one day becoming as common among lawyers as e-mail addresses and Web sites. If that happens, early adopters such as J. Craig Williams won't seem quite so conspicuous -- freeing the paparazzi for other pursuits.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on May 5, 2008 at 11:28 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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