Risk Avoidance May Explain Why Big Firm Blogs Are Boring, Blogger Says
An inquiring blogger wants to know: Why are blogs associated with large law firms sometimes so boring, and why did so few appear in the ABA Journal’s Blawg 100?
Blogger Mark Herrmann is a partner with Jones Day’s Chicago office who writes for the Drug and Device Law blog. He identified only two blogs on the ABA Journal list that are affiliated with large firms: his blog and SCOTUSblog.
Herrmann says successful legal blogs can succeed in three ways: They can be the first source of news, such as the Wall Street Journal’s Law Blog. They can be written by extremely smart people who are paid to “sit around thinking great thoughts,” such as the law professors writing for the Volokh Conspiracy, Concurring Opinions or PrawfsBlawg. Or they can have a voice, such as the blog Simple Justice.
The voice thing can be a problem for law firm blogs, according to Herrmann, because it’s so risky. Blogging solo practitioners may have to field complaints about their posts, but no one can complain to their colleagues. “Not so for those of us in the Am Law 200.”
The result of risk avoidance: “You strip all humor and provocation out of your posts. You lose your voice. The posts are good. They’re informative. They’re lawyerly. But they’re boring; no one’s drawn to them.”
And that, he suggests, is the reason why many big firm blogs don’t draw large readership.