Will I see you in Amsterdam or Paris over the next couple weeks? We’re headed to Amsterdam today and then on to Paris the end of next week.

I have the pleasure of speaking at Lexpo, a legal innovation conference in Amsterdam running next Monday and Tuesday. Lexpo is focusing on four themes this year. Legal market development, legal artificial intelligence, nurturing internal innovation and legal marketing & business development.

Legaltech veteran, Rob Ameerun, who spearheads Lexpo, has pulled together some impressive speakers, including:

  • Katie Atkinson. Professor of Computer Science and Head of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Liverpool.
  • David Wilkins Vice Dean for Global Initiatives on the Legal Profession at Harvard Law School.
  • Jordan Furlong, a leading analyst of the global legal market and forecaster of its future.
  • Lisa Hart Shepherd, CEO of Acritas, who in working on projects with many of the world’s largest law firms has devised research programmes to help develop strategy, achieve service excellence, brand strength and global growth.
  • Ron Friedmann, who has spent over two decades improving law practice and legal business operations with technology, knowledge management, and alternative resourcing.
  • Daniel Katz, a scientist, technologist and law professor at Chicago-Kent College of Law who applies an innovative polytechnic approach to teaching law.
  • Rohit Talwar, a global futurist, strategist and award winning speaker noted for his humour, inspirational style and provocative content.
  • Matt Homann, a former lawyer, now an accomplished facilitator who consults with legal professionals around the world.
  • Adam Billing, a partner of the Møller Professional Services Firms Group at Churchill College, Cambridge ). specialising in innovation culture, user-centered design, creativity and cross-boundary collaboration.

Rob must have had a weak moment when he invited me.

I’ve been in touch, through Twitter and LinkedIn, with legal tech companies and organizations in Amsterdam and Paris, where we’ll head the end of next week. After Lexpo, this  trip is as much vacation as work, but I really enjoy meeting entrepreneurs who see the opportunity of leveraging innovation and technology to improve our profession.

So if you want to get together, just holler.

Are individual lawyers relying too much on their law firm’s marketing professionals, as opposed to taking charge of their own marketing?

Building a book of business as a lawyer has always been about building a name for yourself and building a network of relationships. So marketing departments in law firms can help, but they cannot turn a lawyer into one with a good book of business. This takes initiative on a lawyer’s part. Marketing professionals would probably agree.

But today with many law firms struggling, AI/software soon to be doing the work some lawyers are doing and corporations (LegalZoom, Rocket Lawyer, Avvo and others) picking up a good junks of the transactional legal services market, it sure seems that lawyers would be foolish not to be scrambling to build a name for themselves.

Large and medium size law firm leaders, and the lawyers employed in these firms, who think they’ll withstand the changes taking place sound a lot like the newspaper publishers and media players of 10 years ago. Or maybe like Macy’s, the nation’s largest traditional retailer, who is closing stores as people turn to the net for shopping.

A senior lawyer in a 400 lawyer firm told me a couple months ago that he doesn’t expect his firm to survive, at least in its present form. “In-house counsel may get fired for not using Cravath, but not for failing to use his firm,” he explained in making the point that rates are going down, in-house counsel are bringing efficiencies with technology and corporations are bringing more work in-house.

The Internet is a fabulous place for a lawyer to build a name and relationships. But it’s not going to happen with a group blog lacking passion (especially one inside of a website), profiles of lawyers and driving traffic to websites and content.

The Internet works best for lawyers when they learn how to engage influencers, prospective clients, clients and referral sources in a real and authentic way. Personal law blogging and the use of Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, not for attention, SEO and traffic, but to establish yourself as a trusted authority in a niche and build relationships is the key.

What had to be the pinnacle of employment in sports media, ESPN just laid off over 100. Many were household names. I am sure the sportswriters and announcers who worked their tail off to get to ESPN never envisioned ESPN running into trouble as a result of the Internet overnight changing the way sports is broadcast and delivered.

Turns out that companies like Comcast, DirecTV and Dish are losing subscribers. People are turning to the net, mobile apps more than anything, for sports.

Change can happen — and fast. Chasing partnership track at a medium or large law firm can sound great as a young lawyer. What happens though when things start to soften and then dramatically change all around you? It’s not as if you just slide over to the other ESPN (large law firm).

Sure, you can work in larger law, but while there, use the firm as a platform to build a name and relationships via the Internet, personally. It’s in your mutual interest and you’ll be in a position to more than support yourself in the future.

Our Law School Blog Network is coming alive with a good number of blogs by law professors and law students.

Here’s ten points to mind for a more successful blog for law students yet to go live or not even started with their blog.

  1. Focus on a niche. Blogs are very much “if you build it, they will come,” so long as you focus on a niche. For example, tax law is way too broad. Tax law for income property owners in your state rocks. You’ll get noticed, you’ll have people cite you as a resource and you’ll be pumped about blogging. Broad topic blogs get little love and attention, thus make blogging a chore – so much so you’ll quit and lose an opportunity to build a name and realize your dreams.
  2. Blog on a substantive legal subject, industry or social issue. Don’t blog about yourself and your situation. You don’t want to blog about your life (lifestyle blogger), unless you are big time championing an issue such as discrimination against women or people of color in the law.
  3. No long articles attempting to cover a lot of ground. This is blogging. You blog as you would talk in a conversation. 350 to 400 words, or even shorter is great. One point and you’re done.
  4. At least one image in every post. People read blogs on mobile devices and on social networks. Pictures are attractive in these settings and are expected by users.
  5. Cite other people (and their stories/blog posts) with whom you want to connect to in your niche. They’ll see you, you’ll get to know them and grow influence as a result of others “seeing” you hang out with the leaders.
  6. Make sure you use social networks. Blogging is a all about listening and engagement. It’s the same with social networks. Even when you’re not blogging, you’re still a blogger.
  7. Learn how to use the news aggregator, Feedly. Your blogging will remain focused by who and what you follow and you’ll grow your network by engaging those you read from Feedly.
  8. Don’t be clever with titles. A title should briefly and clearly describe your blog post. Titles are how people find content on Google and social media.
  9. Share your posts on social media, but make sure you’ve established a little “social media equity” by sharing others’ posts and articles first. No one likes people who share only their content all the time.
  10. Post a couple times a month to start with and work it up to once a week. A good blog post can take as little as twenty or thirty minutes. It’ll take a little longer to start, but as you get the hang of it and begin to get recognized blogging will be easy and fun.

Blogging is an art and a skill that is acquired over time. People’s styles differ. One thing to know when you start is that you can blog bad, but for only so long.

If you’re a law student and want to blog on a great platform, check out LexBlog’s Law School Blog Network. All free and a great way to build a name for yourself.

One of the most rewarding things I have the honor of doing is visiting law schools.

I get to go into large law school classes or open sessions and tap into the existing passion these young people have. It’s incredible.

When I talk about the Internet providing each and every student the ability to make their dreams come alive, eyes open. You can see the fire.

When I share the story of Pat Ellis going from an average student at Michigan State Law School to Honigman in Detroit to inhouse counsel and business planner for the General Counsel and EVP of Public Policy at General Motors, all in a couple years, on the back of a blog, Twitter, drive and a dream, you can see students thinking, “That’s me.”

Students come down and engage me afterwards. They tell me where they’re from and where they want to go.

Some students have niches they’re passionate about. My being there got them to realize they really could do the type of work they dream of and for the type of clients they want to serve.

Other students almost apologize that they haven’t figured out their niche. I tell them that’s absolutely okay, most lawyers never figure out what fuels their passion. “Just figure out what would be fun to learn and who’d like to meet in the field. Now make it happen with the effective use of blogging and social media.”

What’s sad is that career services in many schools isn’t prepared to help their law students realize their dreams.

People communicate and connect on the Internet today. A working understanding of how to use the Internet for professional development and getting a job is critical for law students.

Yet career services is often led and staffed by people who have never used the Internet to build professional relationships nor to build a name for themselves. Their knowledge of using the net professionally often comes from misguided peers.

Facebook is the most widely used communication and connection medium in the world. Smart business professionals, including most of the legal industry leaders I know, use Facebook to engage and share on personal and professional matters.

Yet I recently heard that one career services professional advised law students not to engage professionally on Facebook, and if they do to keep two separate Facebook accounts. That’s nuts. Made me wonder what other bum advice they may have shared with students.

Blogging, Twitter and networking on LinkedIn are powerful tools. Those law students who use them strategically and effectively for learning, networking and building a name are going to have opportunities to do the things they dream of when they graduate.

But who’s teaching law students how to use social media? Where are the role models and mentors in their law school when it comes to blogging? Who is career services reaching out to for help, being vulnerable by acknowledging they don’t understand it all?

Law students are paying $150,000 or more to their school, many going into debt, and all forgoing income for three years.

The students are told to use career services. “We’re here to help you.”

But are you? Can you fuel the passion of your law students? Or might you drown it out?

There are exceptions, career services teaching and empowering law students to use social media to build a name for themselves. But I fear they are the exception.

It’s not a matter of whether law firms will need to market their knowledge and use of AI (artificial intelligence), it’s a matter of when. The smart law firms are going to start now.

I walked out of last week’s Legal Marketing Association Annual Meeting (LMA) seeing the single biggest marketing opportunity for law firms as demonstrating a keen knowledge of AI and how AI is going to change the delivery of legal services.

I’ve been to LMA meetings for almost twenty years and have never even heard AI mentioned. AI and machine learning may have been discussed in relation to e-discovery, but this year there were multiple sessions with legal technology and software executives and entrepreneurs presenting on AI and its implications for law firms.

Why now? Because the tools that consumers of legal services expect law firms to use will bring fundamental change to the traditional business model of law firms, that being to charge solely by the hour.

Businesses and consumers are not going to tolerate law firms charging for hours spent on tasks and projects which can be automated by software and AI.

The age of AI may not fully be upon law firms, but the consensus at LMA was pretty close to what Richard Susskind, author, speaker and advisor on the future of legal services, had to say at this year’s British Legal Technology Forum:

People are probably over-estimating what AI can do in the near term, but unfortunately [they] are underestimating what its impact is going to be long term in the industry.

AI is close enough along, that speaking at LMA, Mark Greene, a 30 year veteran in the development and deployment of business and marketing strategies, warned new associates that they should become knowledgeable on new tools and AI so as to remain valuable to a their law firm. Going the traditional partner track is going to be much riskier, per Greene.

Former big law attorney, now Professor of law and Director of LegalRND at Michigan State University, Daniel Linna commented for this post on Facebook about the growing efficiencies that software and tools are already bringing to the law, saying it’s a mistake to ignore expert systems (or some might call them bots–think Turbo Tax for law).

The legal industry across the board could significantly increase productivity (double?) and also quality with better knowledge management and expert systems. Look at what Illinois Legal Aid Online and Michigan Help Online can do with expert systems and document automation.

Many law firms are building expert systems, like Foley FCPA, Akerman data breach navigator, Denton’s for European financial regulations, NetApp & ThinkSmart NDA automation. Lots of low hanging fruit.

AI folks say lots in legal cannot be automated because legal work is unstructured. Well, let’s start structuring it. We need more best practices and standards. Why do lawyers, even in the same firm, do the same task 10 different ways?

One way for law firms to market their knowledge of AI is to use AI — or at least tools and software appproaching AI.

In addition to the firms mentioned by Linna, Seyfarth Shaw, in connection with its subsidiary SeyfarthLean Consulting, announced in February an agreement with Blue Prism to deploy robotic process automation (RPA) software to the firm, marking the first adoption of Blue Prism’s technology for the legal industry.

Blue Prism’s software robots are implemented as digital labor to eliminate low-return, high-risk, administrative and processing work to improve organizational efficiency and effectiveness while reducing operating costs.

Seyfarth’s chair emeritus Stephen Poor sends a message we’re going to hear the likes of more frequently.

We’re excited about the opportunity this creates to free our lawyers from some of the more mundane legal tasks so they can focus on helping our clients solve their most complex business issues. In testing various use cases, we’ve already seen how Blue Prism’s RPA software can help us create exponential gains in productivity, and we’ve only begun to scratch the surface of possibilities.

CARA, an automated research assistant from Casetext, uses AI and natural-language technologies to automate legal research tasks, allowing firms to spend time on higher-value, billable work—and not miss key precedents or decisions.

Quinn Emanuel quickly got the word out, as part of Casetext’s recent funding announcement, that they’re on board with Cara. From partner, David Eiseman:

CARA is an invaluable, innovative research tool. We can upload a brief and within seconds receive additional case law suggestions and relevant information on how cases have been used in the past, all in a user-friendly interface. This feature is unique to CARA, and a major step forward in how legal research is done.

“Important for law firms to understand,” per Greene “is that they’ll not be driving this change in legal services and business models with regard to AI, their clients will. The best thing firms can do is to be informed.”

Being informed alone won’t be enough. Lawyers and law firms will need to demonstrate that they are informed and have a working knowledge of AI.

Sure, writing and speaking about AI in the traditional fashion, is a start. But networking through the Internet via blogging and social media offers lawyers so much more – the ability to become a leader in the area — quickly.

Listen to the influential sources and key subjects (including terms, companies and products) on AI via Feedly. Share what you’re reading about AI via Twitter, engage the sources and what they’re saying in your blog.

Doing so will get you cited by the influencers, demonstrate you’re keeping abreast of developments in AI and build an enviable network of those in the know on AI.

Doing a quick look around, I did not see lawyers out blogging on AI in a way that sperates them from the pack. The opportunity is still there.

AI may even be the perfect place for law students and associates to start doing some online networking and blogging. Look at what Greene had to say about demonstrating your value — knowledge of AI.

Hey, I am am far from an expert when it comes to AI. But I do see a big marketing opportunity here for law firms. Firms are probably even acting at their peril in not marketing their knowledge and use of AI – large corporate consumers of legal services will be watching.

If law firms have jumped on cannabis, privacy, food safety, and consumer finance regulations to make a name for themselves, firms can do it with AI — via the use of AI, or at least demonstrating a working knowledge of AI.

With all the marketing discussion about content, content marketing, getting people to see your content and measuring the ROI on your content, you’d think legal marketing on the Internet revolved around content.

It doesn’t. The Internet and developing business via the Internet for lawyers, at least when used most effectively, is about communication and networking.

The Internet was conceived in the 1960s to enable multiple computers (people) to communicate on a single network.

The Internet came of age for Americans in the 1990s with bulletin boards, Usenet groups, listservs and American Online, with its message boards.

Popular sites on the early Internet included the likes of the Motley Fool (investor’s community) and iVillage (women’s community).

AOL and its founder, Steve Case, were spearheading the Greenhouse project where entrepreneurs would be given $300,000 to launch communities similar to David and Tom Gardner’s Motley Fool. John Hagel’s book, “Net Gain: Expanding Markets Through Virtual Communities,” was the model for such marketing by networking through the Internet.

Legal came of age online during this time in the same fashion. Thousands and thousands of people were asking and answering questions on six sets of multiple message boards on AOL. Only a few of us, as lawyers, participated. The lawyers who did built a name and relationships — and as a reult grew their book of business.

The public and lawyers were also widely participating on Usenet groups, especially on subjects such as immigration.

What did all of this have in common? Communication.

Content, in the form of an article, was an afterthought on AOL. There were folders where people could upload pieces. I remember finding a piece from a doctor on the residual impact of a temporomandibular joint injury. It was fantastic. But I found the article as a result of exchanges on a message board.

Business development for good lawyers begins and ends with building a name and building relations. It’s done via communicating and networking.

Strange thing that the Internet was conceived for communicating and networking.

So use it. Content, sure. But realize content is just a vehicle to enable communicating and networking, not the end goal.

Michigan State University College of Law is hosting their second annual Social Media Bootcamp this Saturday (Feb 4). I couldn’t be more honored to be leading the workshop. We had a great time last year.

The workshop is open to law students, lawyers, academics, judges, court staff and all other legal service delivery professionals.

The interactive workshop is designed to help law students, lawyers and legal services providers improve their professional use of blogging and other social media, whether you are beginner or a pro.

You’ll learn how to effectively utilize social media to build a personal brand, establish expertise, and build an online community. You’ll also learn how social media can be used for learning, advancing the law, and networking as a law student, lawyer, law professor or other legal professional.

If you’re a practicing lawyer, you’ll leave knowing how to really use the Internet to get the type of work you want from the type of clients you want to represent.

We’ll cover, among other things:

  • Use of a news aggregator (Feedly) for listening to the influencers and identifying items to share
  • Blogging on a niche to build your name, a network and advance the law
  • Twitter for listening, establishing yourself as an intelligent agent, building social media equity, and building relationships
  • Facebook for building solid professional relationships and sharing personal and professional information and insight
  • LinkedIn for more than just a profile, but to engage, to build a name – and in the case of lawyers how to get work

Law student, professor or law school administrator and looking to blog, ask me about the LexBlog sponsored Law School Blog Network. You’re entitled to a blog on our comprehensive blog publishing software and related services – for free.

Complete details:

  • Date: Saturday, February 4, 2016
  • Time: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Event Address: 648 N. Shaw Ln, East Lansing, MI 48824
  • Room: Castle Boardroom (3rd Floor)
  • Parking: Free on weekends in the parking ramp next to MSU Law
  • RSVP

Questions? Contact Amy Krieg, Assistant Director for Career Development, kriegamy@law.msu.edu or (517) 432-6830.

Big thanks for Michigan State Law for having me back again. This may be the third or fourth time in the last couple years. You’ve opened my eyes to the passion of law students looking to do great things – often, for other people.

Hope to see how this year’s social media contest is going too. past participants have ended up at with positions at Honigman in Detroit, General Motors, London law firms (internships) and West Coast companies in the agriculture/food business.

Legal tech companies are heading en masse to New York City next week for ALM’s Legaltech Show – now billed as LegalWeek.

Billed as the largest and most important legal technology event of the year, over 10,000 people, including decision makers from large and small law firms, will attend educational sessions and walk the exhibit halls filled with hundreds of legal tech company booths.

Tens of thousands of dollars will be spent by companies in product announcements, booths, alcohol and what not to enhance their brands and sell wares.

The wild thing is that the founders and executives of these tech companies don’t have a clue when it comes to using technology and the Internet to market and sell.

Rather than take responsibility for learning how to use the Internet for relationship building, marketing and selling, the executives hire public relations and marketing professionals to do the job for their company. Crazier yet is that those they hire usually don’t know what they are doing either.

A couple weeks ago, lawyer and legal tech entrepreneur, Zach Abramowitz @ZachAbramowitz, penned a piece in Above The Law about the challenges legal tech companies face in selling to law firms.

I meet a lot of legal tech companies, and I cannot tell you how many great products I’ve seen way which I later discover have zero meaningful traction. I’m not the only one.

Abramowitz went on to reference an interview with Mark Harris, CEO & founder of Axiom, who said:

Selling tech-only solutions into the legal industry today would be like selling a conveyer belt to a blacksmith in the late 1800s. You cannot sell the instruments of industrialization to artisans! They aren’t ready for them and have no idea what to do with them!

So, before legaltech can have its analogous fintech moment, the legal industry needs to make headway on a services-led, but tech-enabled approach to industrialization. We have to build the factories before we can embrace the tools that make the factory better!

The problem with guys like Harris (and maybe you) dissing law firms and their use of technology is that maybe you’ve done nothing to engage law firms, earn their trust and educate them. At least not in an effective fashion.

Legal tech companies coming to Legaltech sell the same way companies sold 100 years ago – through traditional marketing, advertising and sales. Virtually none of them leverage the Internet in a way that engages influencers, customers and prospective customers.

Hundreds of companies have booths at Legaltech. They are relying on websites, emails and cheesy social media to try to grab people’s attention to come to their booth.

I am getting three or four emails a day asking if I want to come by a company’s booth to meet the company’s CEO or founder. Understand that I am the CEO of my own legal tech company who just happens to blog and have some aptitude using social media.

I don’t know the company emailing me. I don’t know the CEO. In most cases, neither I nor my social media/blog followers have any interest in the company’s product.

The person sending the email doesn’t even know who I am, they are firing off random emails to a list of recipients. In the PR or marketing person’s mind I am a channel to get the company’s message out because I blog and use social media.

Though they may be selling something great, I have no reason to trust them.

One can only assume these companies are sending the same message out to lots of bloggers, reporters and influencers, all of whom know how to use the Internet to engage and build relationships. It’s almost like saying, “Yeh, I sell a tech product, but I am a total noob when it comes to using the Internet, how bad did I embarrass myself?”

So not only do the companies have to keep selling in an expensive and tiresome way, but they leave the people they ought to be connecting with wondering how innovative and tech savvy the companies really are when they don’t even know how to use the net when it comes to sales, marketing and business development.

How many of the companies have CEO’s and founders strategically and effectively blogging to build a name, develop relationships and grow business? How many of those companies will have their audience seeking them out based on the name they have built and relationships they nurtured online? Probably none.

Sales, marketing and business development is best done, or at least started, online today. Not with websites and email campaigns but through mediums being used by your customers, prospective customers and their influencers. Blogs, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn should be used by company leaders as individuals, not by the company.

People learn about products, services and company leaders socially. They learn to trust a company, it’s leaders and their counsel through online engagement – think blogging and social networks.

Don’t get me wrong. Face to face discussion is critical to sales. But accelerating relationships and your reputation makes selling much easier.

It’s never been easier to market and sell than today. But you don’t do it the old fashioned way, or else you’ll embarrass yourself.

If you’ve read this far and you’re a legal tech exec attending LegalTech wanting to know how to leverage the Internet for marketing and social selling, drop me a note. Lunch or a drink is on me and I won’t be selling you anything.

I am heading back from a day and evening with the students, faculty and administration at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.

So many people to thank for such an enjoyable and rewarding time. Dean Jay Mootz is leading a heck of a team. I am learning a lot from him as to how a law school works and how to work with law schools.

I am also becoming a little more relaxed talking with law school deans. Being a kid from a small town and a very average student, I hadn’t hung out much with deans and wondered if I could keep up with them on the knowledge front.

Thanks to Mindy Danovaro who introduced me to Jay, kicking off what we hope will be a relationship that can benefit McGeorge students, professors, snd its grads.

And a big thanks to Professor Dorothy Landsberg, who after practicing law for twenty years returned to become a driving force at McGeorge in too many areas to count. Her questions, counsel and enthusiasm left me awfully inspired.

As a lawyer, if you ever get the chance to teach or work with a law school and its students, especially your law school (mine is McGeorge), jump at the opportunity. You’ll find in the decades since you graduated that you have accumulated wisdom and practical know how that the students with drive will be enthusiastic to absorb.

If you can help the school on something unique that showcases the law school, so much the better. Law schools are having a bit of a tough time and find themselves in a highly competitive environment. An edge helps.

In my case it’s helping students, professors and administrators understand how they can leverage the power of the Internet through blogging and social media — for learning, networking, advancing legal scholarship and building a name.

The opportunities that await law grads have never been greater than today — so long as they know to use the net to realize their aspirations.

Fortunate for McGeorge students, the school is going to give them the opportunity to learn how to use the net. Based on discussions yesterday, the school is going to be part of the Law School Blog Network offering students and professors LexBlog’s comprehensive platform and services for free.

We’re also going to work on ways to teach campus representatives the ins and outs of using blogging and social media strategically. They’ll in turn be able to pass on their knowledge to students and professors.

McGeorge, part of the University of Pacific, is an incredible school with a smart, dedicated and caring faculty and administration.

And as far as the law school itself? 13 acres of classrooms, apartments, a fitness center with pool, clinics, learning centers, and a courtroom, all surrounded by lawns with palm and eucalyptus trees in sunny California is tough to beat. And you can get a California license to boot.

Thanks McGeorge. It’s off to Fordam and Michigan State law schools in the coming weeks. What an honor.

Reading  “WTF is AALS,” in an Above The Law post by the Anonymous Law Professor last Tuesday was enough to catch my attention.

Turns out AALS is the American Association of Law Schools, an organization I hadn’t heard of before. They were having their annual meeting last week in San Francisco, including a Thursday morning session on how law professors were blogging for professional development.

Short notice, but LexBlog’s starting the Law School Blog Network was enough to get me to jump a flight down the next day.

The session on blogging, which took type form of three discussion groups of about fifteen was excellent.

My findings on law school blogging from the session (excuse the length – my notes for working with law schools):

  • Each of the law professors who were blogging felt they were making a strong name for themselves from blogging.
  • At least one law professor would not have gotten her job as a professor without blogging. She was practicing law, had not attended a tier 1 school, but whose goal in life was to be a law porofessor – her blog got her in.
  • Their networks were growing among influenential legal and business professionals worldwide.
  • Blogging professors were getting invited to speak at events worldwide.
  • Law professors view favorably the free and open legal publishing that blogs bring.
  • Concern was expressed about LexisNexis’ acquisition of SSRN, an historically open body of scholarly publications, because LexisNexis is now limiting some open access. Blogging provides an alternative.
  • Media loves law professors blogging as evidenced by blogging professors regularly finding themselves being contacted and quoted by reporters.
  • Law schools look favorably on blogging professors. Deans and administrators like the media coverage, court citations, advancement of legal scholorship and readers, including judges and alumni.
  • Law professor blog posts, like law reviews, get cited by the courts.
  • Judges read law professor blogs as a form of legal scholorship and dialogue on the law.
  • Law professor blogs influence the ABA’s committees, rulings and policy making.
  • Conensus of professors in the session was that 10% of the professors at their law schools were blogging,
  • Law school deans like their law professors blogging because of the notoriety it brings the professors and the schools.
  • Blog posts need not be a thousand words or more. Though some posts may be longer in nature, 400 hundred to 600 words is fine.
  • Law professors, like practicing lawyers who blog, like to follow stats and traffic. Who’s reading, how many are reading and where readers are located.
  • Law professors were in 100% agreement that blogs belong separate and apart from a law school website – a blog is an independent publication and a law professor needs to maintain ownership of their blog.
  • Being recognized as a top 100 legal blog in the annual Blawg 100 by the ABA Journal is valued by law professors.
  • The blog publishing platform, TypePad, not used by many professionals, was used by some of the professors, by virtue of Professor Paul Caron’s Law Professor Blog Network using Typepad.
  • Law professors use other social media as an adjunct to their blogging, just like practicing lawyers who blog – Twitter and LinkedIn, more than Facebook.
  • Law professors who do not blog and use social, but whom show an interest, are as lost as to what it’s all about as practicing law students.

I enjoyed attending, met a professor or two who is interested in blogging with LexBlog’s Law School Blog Network and will make it a point to attend AALS in the future.