During a recent presentation on blogging and social media, the number one question was “What should law firms blog about?” There are myriad reasons to blog and topics to blog about. See: Why Do You Blog? 23 Lawyers Weigh In. Here are 10 blogging ideas for lawyers and law firms with a few standout examples.
1. Current Court Decisions – If you can blog today about a decision that came out last night involving a narrow, specific aspect of the law, you’ve now portrayed yourself as a current expert. This comes directly from Fox Rothschild’s Firm-wide Managing Partner, Mark Silow. See: Bloomberg’s BNA Blogs Generate Business, Says Fox Rothschild MP.
2. Legal Technology – “I do not blog about my practice area, but about something that interests me, legal technology. I started my blog in 2002 as a supplement to a book I published about the best websites for lawyers. I immediately realized that a blog was a far better medium than a book for keeping up with the rapidly changing landscape of the legal web and legal technology.” – Bob Ambrogi. Hear from more lawyers on why they blog for inspiration. Examples include Brian Focht’s The Cyber Advocate and Jeff Richardson’s iPhone J.D.
3. Practice Area – Cover news, information, and resources related to the firm’s practice area(s). Among the many out there, two standout blogs are Hillary Bricken’s Canna Law Blog covering issues related to the cannabis business community and Harris & Moure’s China Law Blog. The afore mentioned Fox Rothschild has over 30 topical blogs!
4. Legal Marketing – Lawyers are more involved in their firm’s marketing efforts these days, with some leading the charge. Write about your experience, including triumphs and failures, tools of the trade, and other tips and tricks. Lee Rosen’s Divorce Discourse is a good example and a great resource.
5. Process & Productivity – Clients are demanding more transparency and accountability and firms are responding with innovative processes to improve productivity. Write about what the firm is doing. Clients will see that your firm is leading on these efforts. Check out SeytLines authored by Kenneth A. Grady, lean law evangelist and others – a discussion on leadership, change, efficiency, strategy and innovation in the legal industry.
6. Legal Writing & Research Tips – There are more legal and internet research programs and databases than ever. Same with writing tools and resources. Share research tips. Express your inner grammar nerd. Write about it. See Matthew R. Salzwedel’s Legal Writing Editor and Mike Skotnicki’s Briefly Writing.
7. The Business of Law – The legal profession, not known for speedy change, has seen an unprecedented acceleration in the past few years due to market forces. Discuss how this affects the client-law firm relationship. Talk about the new normal in client services or types of alternative free arrangements that firms must offer in order to compete and thrive. See Carolyn Elefant’s My Shingle and Patrick Lamb’s In Search of the Perfect Client Service blogs.
8. Current Trends & Issues – Access to Justice and other social justice issues, Cybersecurity, Diversity (Law Department are looking for this at law firms), and other issues and trends in the profession are great topics to discuss on your blog.
9. Attorney Wellness – As the legal landscape becomes more competitive, stress increases and even depression can rear its ugly head. There’s only so much productivity tips and tech tools can do if you’re not feeling well. Have a routine that works for you? Share it. Write a series on it. For inspiration, check out The Anxious Lawyer helmed by Jeena Cho, mindfulness evangelist and partner at JC Law Group.
9. Topical Newsletters – Many law firms put out practice area or topical newsletters. Some have a “Newsletter” or “Industry” tab on their websites with PDF editions, which may not be picked up in a Google search. Many don’t even make PDF editions available. Don’t waste a golden opportunity for good work already done. Each newsletter is a blog post or a separate, topical blog.
10. Curation – Finally, if you’re already keeping up with a particular topic via Feedly, Twitter Lists, and other sources, compile a weekly list of the top-five posts.
Above all, write with passion and purpose. Don’t farm out blog writing to others. Strategy, editing, and other technical, formatting, and optimizing efforts? Sure. But writing must the done by lawyers and staff at the firm. Do this, and exposure, thought leadership, and business development will follow.