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Morgan Smith

Some Pitfalls of Legal Blogging and 5 Favorite Law Blogs

I admit, I’m not the most consistent blogger. I try to publish a post at a minimum weekly, but work intervenes and makes blogging with regularity a challenge. I go for quality over quantity in blogging and respect the fact that I probably have 30 seconds or less to grab and hold the reader’s attention. (Hang in there, this turns practical, I promise!)

Are you an attorney who blogs—or have you been advised to start a blog? If so, I recommend a recent post on by Sam Glover called “What to Blog About (or: How to Keep Blogging),” which gives smart advice on how to avoid adding to the abundance of what he calls “crappy, dead law blogs” with “second-rate posts nobody wanted to read, anyway.”

That post got me thinking not only about my own blog, but about those blogs in the legal field I admire for sharing useful information in an authentic voice. I’d like to take this post to highlight a few that I regularly read.

As the Lawyerist post points out, a lot of attorneys are advised to start blogging for marketing and SEO reasons. Most of those law firm blogs, not surprisingly, end up boring and overly promotional. A better way to go is to build a relationship with readers:

“Writing a blog post is a bit like giving a presentation. People attend if they think they will get something out of it. If you stand up in front of the audience and promote yourself, you will disappoint your audience, and none of them are likely to come to any more of your presentations. If you focus on being interesting and informative instead of marketing, your audience will think well of you. They will probably come back for more, and even though you aren’t promoting yourself, every member of the audience will be a potential referral source.”

Here are five blogs I recommend because they’re genuinely interesting and informative:
  • Ken Broda-Bahm’s Persuasive Litigator blog:  Hands-down the most well-researched and erudite blog I’ve discovered that’s devoted to litigation strategy and jury consulting. His blog and mine are featured on blog aggregator for the American Society of Trial Consultants, which is a great clearinghouse for blogs related to litigation strategy and presentation.
  • Ken Lopez’s A2L Consulting blog: This firm publishes informative posts about demonstrative evidence, litigation technology and informational design.
  • Ted Brooks’ Court Technology and Trial Presentation blog: Ted consistently does a thorough, expert job reviewing courtroom technology and advising on issues that come up in our field of litigation consulting. (His March 11 post is a must-read ;-).)
  • Julie Brooks’ Continuing Education of the Bar CEB Blog: Unlike many law blogs, this is more of a grab bag than a niche, since it covers several practice areas. The common thread is useful advice and information to help attorneys stay abreast of legal news and trends, and to prepare for mediation and trial.
  • Tom Wallerstein’s “From Big Law to Boutique” column on Tom has great advice on law practice management for solos and small firms.

Nearly a year has passed since my first blog post. (Check it out if you’re curious to see a snapshot of my family and read a tangent about how the Mayan ruins in Tulum relate to litigation presentations.) In it, I put forth my reasons for starting a blog, which hold true today:

(1) to share practical news, tips and tools that help trial attorneys move their cases forward to successful resolution;

(2) to show attorneys how to use graphics and develop visual presentations to make their cases more compelling and easy to understand;

(3) to share news about emerging trends and issues in litigation—and to give me a soapbox to share my opinions on those trends and issues;

(4) to link to others in the legal graphics and litigation field so that we can swap ideas and shout-outs;

(5) and finally, last but not least, to promote a less stressed, more manageable workplace for attorneys.

How am I doing? Any suggestions on how I can improve? What are some of your favorite, lesser-known law blogs? I welcome your feedback, and I thank you for reading.

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