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Why the Biggest Firms Don't Blog

Snob "You don't have to say much to set off an avalanche in the blogosphere," observes James M. Beck, counsel in the Philadelphia office of Dechert, in a post yesterday at the blog Drug and Device Law, which he co-authors with Mark Herrmann, a partner in the Chicago office of Jones Day. In this case, the TNT that set off the avalanche was Herrmann's observation in an earlier post that of the 10 U.S. firms with highest profits per partner, "only one has any connection to a blog. And that 'connection' is pretty remote."

What prompted Hermann's observation was the recent post at LexBlog on the state of the Am Law 200 blogosphere. It showed that 41 percent of the 200 largest firms now have blogs, a 110 percent increase from LexBlog's first survey two years ago. But none of these blogs is published under the name of a top-10 firm. The closest tie any blog has to a top-10 firm is that one was founded by an associate at Kirkland & Ellis but is now written by a number of non-Kirkland contributors.

Herrmann's observation brought any number of suggestions from readers as to why big firms don't blog. Beck's post sums up six of them:

1. Lawyers at the most profitable firms are stupid.

2. Lawyers at the most profitable firms are too busy.

3. Lawyers at those firms won't stoop to blog.

4. Lawyers at those firms don't want to give away their product for free.

5. Lawyers at those firms lack the necessary skill set.

6. Lawyers at those firms believe that blogging is unlikely to yield a decent return on investment.

Beck and Herrmann opt to report on the fray but stay out of it themselves. "Although we have a pretty strong opinion on this subject, we're keeping it to ourselves," Beck writes. But at the blog Strategic Legal Technology, Ron Friedmann is more than happy to weigh in with his take, "that blogs are among the most cost-effective approaches to marketing for lawyers." In light of the current legal market depression, he says, "BigLaw will have to grab for market share." When that time comes, he suggests, we'll see how long it takes for the hold-outs to hop on the blogging bandwagon.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on July 7, 2009 at 01:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)


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