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Many Top Law Firms Have an Aversion to Blogs

Posted Jul 1, 2011 5:30 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Some law firms have embraced blogging with a vengeance. Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton has 25 blogs, for example. It is followed by Hunton & Williams, with 23; and Reed Smith, with 17.

But some of the largest law firms aren’t blogging at all, the National Law Journal reports in a column by Adrian Dayton, author of Social Media for Lawyers: Twitter Edition. They include top 10 firms Kirkland & Ellis, Jones Day, Sidley Austin, and White & Case.

This isn't to say that lawyers from these firms aren't blogging on their own: For instance, Kirkland & Ellis associate Greg Skidmore is the founder of Sports Law Blog, and Jones Day associate Charles T. Kotuby posts at Conflict of Laws.net. Dayton asserts the lack of law firm branded blogs is no accident. “The biggest firms have decided to take a more aggressive approach when it comes to ‘controlling the message’ rather than risk individual lawyers saying whatever they want,” he writes. “They have built a fence around their firm. This is the wrong approach.”

Dayton says clients hire the lawyer, not law firms. As evidence, he offers these statistics: One marketer that studied Web traffic for several law firm websites found that more than 50 percent of the page views were for attorney bios. And more than half of corporate counsel responding to a survey said they will stop and think before hiring a lawyer without a credible online presence in addition to their bio.

“Social media and blogging aren't about making you famous; they are about making you a little bit famous, in your own sphere,” Dayton writes. “It's about building an online reputation that benefits the individual lawyer, benefits the industry or practice group and in turn benefits the whole firm.”

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