Lawyers are professional writers. From writing legal memos, to appellate briefs, to motions, a lawyer’s trade is dealing in words. Lawyers know how to structure arguments and, most of us, enjoy the benefits of opposing viewpoints.

So, this begs the question: why wouldn’t a lawyer want to add a blog to their professional website? Isn’t it just another form of writing?

There are many, reasonable, reasons why lawyers may want to leave a blog out of their professional website.

One of the primary reasons a may be because blogs are by definition opinion pieces. Not everyone will agree with an opinion. Some lawyers may fear alienating potential clients. Some lawyers may want to keep their legal business as separate as possible from their political views, personal life, or other non-legal worlds. Whatever their reasons, to these lawyers, keeping their legal business separate makes business sense. A blog would only have the potential to mix worlds.

These lawyers may want to rethink their traditional logic. Depending on the lawyer’s practice, the law can be black and white in some cases, if not in most cases. Lawyers who want to keep their worlds separate may want to focus their blogs on these black and white issues. An opinion on a black and white issue is still an opinion. Restating the law, so to speak, can not only keep your blog posts black and white, but they can also help to build your credibility and reputation. Just because the law is black and white from the standpoint of a lawyer who knows that area of law does not mean there is not an audience who could not benefit from those opinions.

(If we are to get philosophical for a moment, at some level, all of the law is opinion i.e., the law is opinion that is socially acceptable for that period in time. Supreme Court appointments, after all, are political appointments. This is a topic for a later blog post.)

I’m not suggesting lawyers go out and blog about clients. Rather, what I’m suggesting is for lawyers to share some of their knowledge. Some reluctant lawyers may say blogging about their expertise would be giving away free advice and take away from potential paying clients. I would disagree with that logic because in many cases people who could benefit from a lawyer do not know that they could benefit or are afraid of the reputation the legal profession has gained for costly consultations. They will then either not seek out a lawyer or try to do it themselves. Both of which are generally bad ideas. These people will also try and search the web to see if it is in their best interest to seek a lawyer’s consultation. These are the people that your blog should target because they are potential clients. Just because someone is trying to understand their situation, does not mean that they are not willing to pay for legal representation.

Like it or lump it, the law is still a regional profession. Search engines take this into account in their algorithms. Getting to the top spots on a local search result for lawyers in your area can be a cash cow. A blog can help grow your internet presence. The more key words you have on your website, the greater your chances of a search engine having your website come up in that first page of search results for you area.

Another reason a lawyer may not want to create a blog is because creating content can be time consuming and may take away from billable hours. This is certainly true and an important consideration, but your blog does not need to add content on a daily basis. One blog post a week can be enough to meet your needs. Once you get into the grove of writing on your blog, the amount of time you spend on creating content will decrease. You don’t have to do all of the blog writing yourself. You can allow guest posts. As long as it is good content, you should consider adding guest posts.

One of the benefits of a blog is that the blog can help you become an expert in a particular area of practice. Not only will your website be indexed by search engines for your local audience, but it will be indexed in general for the greater worldwide web. This may help you expand your areas of practice.

What blogging boils down to is that a blog can be a great marketing tool for your business. In fact, it can turn into one of the lowest cost methods of marketing while being one of the most advantageous. Most people (not all of them) who are looking for quality legal information are more than willing to pay for competent legal advice. A blog can help you match with those potential clients.

A blog does mean change. Lawyers who are fearful of changing too much, too fast, as most lawyers are, may find the blog world is not for them or their style of running a legal practice. You should do what you think is best for your business and your clients. If you do decide to try out a blog, give it a good go. If it doesn’t meet your needs, you can always take it down. Give it a shot.



This blog entry was written by Sanket Mistry.

Sanket Mistry, J.D., M.I.A.      Sanket Mistry is the founder and CEO of Peerless Legal and blogs regularly. He has written numerous books including, "25 Estate Planning Forms," "8 Living Trust Forms," "Simple Will Creator," "Give Through a Will & Living Trust," and "Guidance On Creating Your Own Will & Power of Attorney," and the bestselling books in the Legal Self-Help Guide series, "Will, Trust, & Power of Attorney Creator and Estate Records Organizer" and "Estate Planning in Plain-English." He earned his JD from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University and is a member of the New York State Bar. He has worked, and volunteered, at a number of nonprofits, government agencies, and for-profit corporations. He also holds a BA in philosophy from Emory University and a MIA from Columbia University. He is an avid traveler and tennis player.