We’re always thrilled when The ABA Journal releases their Blawg 100 list, because we see many familiar names from the LexBlog Network.

For those who don’t know, each year the Journal collects nominees in one of thirteen categories, often because the staff at The ABA Journal found them useful resources for finding new sources, analysis, and insights. It’s one of the biggest awards you can win as a legal blogger.

This year we’re pleased to recognize the 17 blogs from the LexBlog Network featured on the list! Congratulations to them, and all the blogs nominated. You guys make us proud.

This post originally appeared on LXBN as part of our LXBN Leaders series—highlighting a member of the LexBlog Network each week.

Stuart Kaplow took over a successful blog two years ago. Since then it’s only gotten bigger.

The original author decided to pursue other opportunities, and as a reader of the blog who also knew the author Kaplow was in a unique position to take the reins. From there the current Green Building Law Update got started. And while it’s quite a niche subject, Kaplow says it’s perfect for blogging.

“This is an emerging body of law; it’s new, it’s fast-growing, and it’s evolving…When I originally got into this area nine years ago, I used to say green building law remakes itself every two years. Now I’d say it’s every year. This is such a changing area of law, waiting to print a textbook and read it isn’t going to work. The blog is a wonderful way to stay current—and that’s why people read,” said Kaplow.Kaplow-Headshot-8972

However, not all the people who read are necessarily fans of his opinions. According to Kaplow, his primary audience is not lawyers, but the “broader environmental industrial complex,” and that leads to some discord.

“I write with the point of view of a pro-business blog. And I write with an attitude. I suspect some of my readers don’t agree with that attitude—[or rather] as I could regularly tell from the comments it’s clear that many of my readers don’t agree—but they read because there’s not a lot of other sources for information on the hot topics of the day in sustainability and green building law that articulate a reasoned perspective on the subject,” said Kaplow, who knows there’s not a lot of discourse around green building law, much less from lawyers. “I accept that while much of my goal is to try to influence this new and emerging body of law, this parallel purpose of getting business is key. And while I regularly offend someone, I’m not regularly offending everyone.”

Even with the divided feedback, blogging has been quite the rewarding experience for Kaplow. These days he uses the blog once a day to cite as an example or fact to clients, potential clients, or other interested parties. His blog posts regularly include links to primary source materials like statute regulations or other government policy, which are sometimes so new they’re not otherwise available.

He speaks a lot at conventions and tells his readers that if they’ll be at the same conference he’s open to getting a drink. At the U.S. Green Building Council’s Greenbuild International Conference last year he says it felt like all he did was eat and grab drinks with interested readers.

Knowing that, it’s no surprise that the blog has more than exceeded his wildest expectations for his business.

“The blog is an embarrassing success, in the sense that, second only to business from existing clients, this is the greatest source of business for both my law firm and its non-law subsidiary,” said Kaplow. “I have done away with a business card now, I just have a card that says I blog and includes a QR code.”

Since Kaplow started blogging two years ago, he expanded the focus of the Green Building Law Update from purely green building law to sustainability in general. From that platform he’s been able to dive into an emergent body of law headfirst; assisting the law in maturing and evolving in any way he can. Luckily that just so happens to get his name out there as a knowledge base for these issues.

“The body of law has grown so dramatically in the two years I’ve been blogging. I can’t say I had a grand plan, I was simply trying to grab on the tail and hold on,” said Kaplow. “If I had more time I’d write more, but I have to also make time to do all this work I’m generating.”

This post originally appeared on LXBN as part of our LXBN Leaders series—highlighting a member of the LexBlog Network each week.

Back in 2011, Wystan Ackerman and the Robinson & Cole team had tried email newsletters, and hadn’t seen much traction. Then someone floated the idea of a blog.

“The blog was something that was new and different; we thought it was worth giving a try at the time,” said Ackerman. “[And for me] it seemed like a way to develop a reputation in this area, and a way of making sure I was staying up to speed in new developments by looking for things to write about.”

ACKERHe was so game that he opted to do it as an individual blog—something any blogger will tell you is a major undertaking. It helps, of course, that Ackerman comes from a writing background; his father was a professional writer, and Ackerman wrote for his high school and college newspaper. But more than four years later and he’s still the only one who writes content for the Insurance Class Actions Insider.

“You can really make it your own, in the sense that you enjoy writing and finding out what to write about among whatever’s going on in the area you’re writing about. You get to identify which topics are worth writing about, and make it interesting and easy to read, so you can communicate the importance of whatever you’re talking about,” said Ackerman, who says this practice isn’t unique to blogging, but it certainly helps.

“Across all the writing I do, even when I’m writing a more formal document for a judge, I try to make it interesting and more readable. So that carries across to the blog—just with a much shorter format.”

When he blogs, Ackerman says he reads it over and tries to keep it short when he can. When he started, he tried to post a couple times a week; whether it was reviewing a new case law, a story picked from the general media, or something more broadly related to insurance class actions. But now he doesn’t feel the same obligation to just churn out content.

These days it’s about what would best serve and be of interest to his readers. It’s a far more variable schedule, very dependent on when he finds good content. In his experience, quality comes naturally when there’s something worth writing about, not just when there’s a deadline.

“There are a lot of people who get emailed every time I post something on the blog. I don’t want to be filling their inboxes with stuff that’s not sufficiently important,” said Ackerman.

According to Ackerman, that audience is typically insurance industry folks—even senior executive members—but he strives to make the material accessible to lawyers as well as non-lawyers, or a broader ring of lawyers than just insurance attorneys. And he’s seen that style turn into calls from people in the insurance industry media and general media.

Even so, he makes sure to not get too caught up in how others see the blog. He may not always be successful in looking at insurance issues in a way someone who doesn’t know about them could walk in on easily, but he is always writing from his own outlook as a lawyer.

“I can’t write it as whatever my opinion would be if I was no longer representing insurance companies…What you write might be thrown back in your face later in a case you’re handling with clients,” said Ackerman, who makes revisions with that in mind. “I personally think you’d have to take it from the perspective role you have as a lawyer.”

That example has resonated with readers, who Ackerman says have picked him out at conferences before, as well as his firm, Robinson & Cole. After the Insurance Class Actions Insider lead the way, Robinson & Cole has launched six more blogs on a variety legal topics. For Ackerman, that’s not surprising, so long as they keep in mind the golden rule of blogging.

“I would say the real commitment you have to make is devote the time to identifying the right content and working on developing content,” said Ackerman. “And you have to really enjoy writing to make it worthwhile. If writing is not part of the legal practice you really enjoy and want to do a lot of I don’t think blogging is likely to be successful.”

One of the beauties of blogging is having the ability to build a network of connections from all over the world without having to leave the comfort of your own city.  Toronto attorney Lisa Stam uses her blog, Employment and Human Rights in Canada, as a virtual key to access the world of labor and employment law throughout Canada and beyond.

"Being a Canadian and blogging helps eliminate national borders and helps (me) connect with people all over the place and I like that," said Stam.  "It is the neat thing about blogging–it truly is a global activity."

Stam started her blog in the fall of 2009 with the intent of simply engaging in conversation related to workplace law developments and to stay abreast on changes within employment and human rights law.  After seeing an increasing trend in the use and misuse of social media in the workplace, Stam started her blog as an opportunity to learn about cyberlaw in the workplace to better understand the issues faced by her clients.

"I was increasingly having clients asking me about their social media issues in the workplace so I thought why not jump into social media more directly in order to understand my client’s issues," Stam said.

Stam works for a large international full-service firm, which gives her access to information that eludes local-market competitors, but perhaps the biggest advantage she has is simply that she is a female in the workforce.  Having similar workplace experiences as many female gives Stam free reign to write on the many unspoken issues that resonate with females readers.

"I’m one of the only female (labor and employment) bloggers in the city, that I’m aware of, that has her own blog," said Stam.  "That gives me freedom to talk about things like my (maternity) leave and returning to work after leave and having a female voice in the labor and employment law world."

The unique perspectives on Employment and Human Rights in Canada has created a world of new and exciting career opportunities for Stam, including agency-appointed client referrals, speaking engagements and a recent interview with the prominent Canadian Broadcasting Corporation talk show Currents.

"I would have never gotten that opportunity if they had not Googled and found one of my posts," said Stam.  "It was directly a result of my blog."

Though blogging has raised Stam’s visibility in the labor and employment law industry, the seventh-year lawyer has not lost sight of the desire to learn.  Her advice to bloggers is to take advantage of opportunities to learn from those with experience who can help better you understand not only blogging, but peak areas of interest.

"You have to read more than you write and listen more than you talk, that’s critical," said Stam,  "and know that the big takeaway from blogging is that you get to learn so much from those people around you as opposed to the other way around."

If success in legal blogging were measured by the author’s ability connect with and relate to readers, Jeff Nowak‘s FMLA Insights would be the standard.  Employing techniques that resonate with those seeking guidance, the Chicago attorney’s publication is well on its way to finding its place among the best blogs in the labor and employment law community.

"Every article I write has to have some sort of practical impact for employers," said Nowak, a partner at Franczek Radelet.  "Some kind of message they can take and apply to their own workplace to maximize their business objectives and ultimately minimize legal risk."

Insightful, colorful and engaging, FMLA Insights has helped both employers and employees better understand matters associated with the Family and Medical Leave Act, which is why the blog’s increase in popularity is no surprise.

One of the most popular features on the blog has been the ‘FMLA FAQ‘ segment where Nowak blogs about questions posed by clients.

"In the FAQ, I choose issues that my clients commonly face in their daily business and that I think would be of value to a larger group of employers," said Nowak. "It has certainly raised my profile in the labor and employment social networking community."

Nowak’s increased web presence brought about a major career opportunity, as he was recently named employment counsel for a private company in the airline industry after being introduced to a FMLA Insights reader who happens to serve as in-house counsel for that airline.

"The blog provided me instant credibly with a potential client, something that I otherwise would have never been able to obtain without the blog," said Nowak.  "It provided an opportunity to hold myself out as an expert on an area that was of value to this particular employer."

Though a major milestone for Nowak’s career, the recent appointment to employment counsel for the airline has added to Nowak’s laundry list of duties—which includes being co-chair of the Labor and Employment Practice Group at Franczek Radelet, serving as an elected official in his local government,  and of course,  the blog.  All this begs the question of how Nowak finds time to produce such a high quality blog on a regular basis.  His secret is that he finds time to focus on blogging at the beginning or end of the day.

"The first hour of my day is business development. It’s reviewing social media, It’s staying up-to-date on issues in my profession, it’s connecting with current and potential clients and it’s also time spent on my own blog," said Nowak.  "So it’s something that I tackle either late at night or first thing in the morning before I jump into my actual legal work.  I found that it works pretty well for me."

Amidst all the duties of a lawyer with a full plate, Nowak finds time to blog, but what makes it easier for him to post with such regularity is his passion for labor and employment law.  His advice to bloggers who may lack of inspiration is to write about topics of interest, as it makes for a more enjoyable experience.

"If you want to jump into blogging, it really has to be an area that you’re passionate about because it’s a pretty significant time commitment," said Nowak.  "While you might love to do it now, you have to love the concept two or three years later because the longer you blog, the more difficult it can be to stay motived so it’s particularly important to pick an area you are interested in and passionate about and run with it."

If the oft-uttered statement "you are what you eat" applied to blogging, Washington, D.C. attorney Steven Berk would be what he writes.  As the publisher and author of The Corporate Observer, Berk sees his blog as not only his online writing portfolio, but his virtual business card.

"If someone’s looking for a whistleblower lawyer (online), 30 or 40 different people will come up and they’re sort of looking at a stack of business cards and mine is more interesting and more thoughtful so they might call me," Berk said.

With over twenty years of litigation experience under his belt in federal prosecution and with large law firms, Berk decided to start his own firm, Berk Law, in the spring of 2009 and soon after created The Corporate Observer as a means of developing his new practice.

"When I shifted over to doing more consumer and class action work, I needed a platform that allowed me to build a presence a lot quicker than in the olden days," Berk said.

Berk’s presence is becoming increasingly established through the use of his blog, as his firm has gotten many calls from new and potential clients.

"People (are) willing to hire me as their attorney based on what they may have seen on the blog, and then due diligence after that," said Berk.  "It’s sort of a digital business card, and even more than that, it’s interactive and has information.  So in that sense it’s been very successful and we are going to keep pushing that."

The success of the blog on the retail end has prompted Berk to reach out to thought leaders to promote his work and lead him to important career and networking opportunities, such as speaking engagements and media appearances.  Berk realizes that blogging is a two-way street and in order for him to gain such opportunities he must engage others and promote their work as well.

"What I’ve learned slowly is that writing a blog is only step one," said Berk.  "It’s certainly an important step, but it’s only step one.  I think you also have to take steps two and three, which are responding to people’s blogs and engaging in conversation with others to really get the big bang for your buck."

While working on engaging others in his work, Berk is employing the craft of letting his writing show readers his personality, skills, and advocacy for class action.  Berk feels that many law blogs are "mercenary" and are subject to narrow focuses, which is why his <font face="georgia,

serif”>informative, interesting and timely

 prose-style writing makes his work stand out from the crowd.

"Since I was a trial lawyer for some time, I’m pretty good at being a generalist and explaining things in a way that people could understand, and that’s kind of the key I think," Berk said.

Something Berk has learned in his blogging endeavors is that the art has no strict formula or rules to adhere to, but he believes it is essential to be true to his nature and character. His advice to other bloggers is to let their personalities shine through their work.

"Go with your style.  If you’re funny, make it funny.  If you’re serious, make it serious.  I think people just have to be comfortable and willing do with what they think they’re good at."

 

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a video must be worth a million, and Southern California attorneys Keith Davidson and Stewart Albertson have recently started using video commentary on their blog, California Trust, Estate and Probate Litigation, in a unique way that effectively demonstrates that the art of blogging nowadays is more than just words on a page.

"Not many lawyers have blogs on trust and will litigation because there aren’t that many lawyers who do it; and the ones who do, don’t have blogs with videos," said Davidson.

Having started their blog just over a year ago, Davidson and Albertson’s blog has quickly become an effective outlet for the duo, as they have been establishing themselves as experts on issues regarding trust, estate and probate laws in California. Not to mention picking up new clients along the way.

"(The blog) has helped with our visibility," said Davidson. "People can find us and when they call, they already assume we’re experts in the area because they’ve read the blog."

Perhaps the reason Davidson and Alberston’s blog is attractive to readers is because it conveys information in a way that is both conversational and easy to understand. Adding to the allure of the blog are the video posts, which feature Davidson and Albertson speaking in-depth about important issues pertaining to trust, probate and estate law. As a relatively new feature to the blog, the videos have not gotten much response, but they have helped Davidson and Albertson establish a visible web presence.

"(The videos) are fairly new so we haven’t gotten much feedback, but I think it’s going to be good to show who we are and our personality," said Davidson. "But I can tell you they’ve shot up our rankings on Google even more."

Though the blog is continuing to gain success, it comes with a time commitment. As partners of their own law firm, adjunct professors at Chapman University School of Law and family men, Davidson and Albertson find time to blog in between the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Davidson writes on weekends and quiet nights, using his iPad to reflect on interesting topics he sees from clients, the classroom and various social media outlets of which he follows.

"I find that trying to sit at my desk and come up with ideas is impossible," said Davidson. "But if you get away from it a little bit you can come up with better ideas."

Coming up with blog ideas is difficult at times, which is why Davidson suggests having the desire to write is a key component of successful blogging.

"You have to want to share information," said Davidson. "If you are doing it because you feel like you have to you, wont get really far."

When LexisNexis talks, people listen.  And when the premiere electronic legal research service in the world publishes a "best of" list, it is a big deal to be on that list.  The recently compiled "LexisNexis Top 25 Labor and Employment Law Blogs of 2011," features 13 blogs from the LexBlog Network.  Below is a list of all the blogs in the network that made the list, along with the reactions from a few of the authors about making the list and what it means to be part of such a distinguished company in the labor and employment law community. 

Blogging veteran Daniel Schwartz of Pullman & Comley has set a standard for legal blogging with his Connecticut Employment Law Blog.  Though it has been on many elite lists, the thing that is most important to the Hartford attorney is that readers still find his blog valuable and relevant after all this time.

"It’s always nice to be recognized by your peers and by others and having appeared on list like this in the past, it’s nice that four years into my blogging, people still recognize the value that the blog can bring.  I read several of the other blogs that are on the list and there’s a number of high quality law blogs that are out there, particularly on the LexBlog Network."

Columbus, Ohio attorney Brian Hall considers his blog, Employment Law Report, being on the list as a sign of the high quality of his work and credits the blog for giving his firm, Porter Wright, industry recognition beyond the Buckeye State.

"If you look up and down that list of blogs, there’s a lot of impressive lawyers and law firms that put out those blogs and just to be considered one of them is really an honor.  Being considered among that high quality a list validates what we’re doing as well.  When we got started, all we were really looking to do was make sure we were communicating legal developments to our clients as best we could and we were hopeful of getting a little more name recognition outside of the state of Ohio, but did not really ever expect that we would be getting this kind of recognition."

Anthony Zaller of Van Vleck, Turner & Zaller recognizes the difficulties associated with keeping a blog current and interesting while also facing the pressures associated with a hectic work schedule, which is why he considers it an honor that his blog, California Employment Law Report, is one of the top labor and employment blogs, as well as a testament to his ability to handle both a blog and a practice.

"It’s definitely hard to keep up on blogging and business and to keep your practice going. A lot of these other writers do a better job of keeping focus than I do, but I think blogging is something that is important to keep in mind and I try to do my best and I’m definitely honored to be in the company of these other bloggers.  I don’t know how I come up with ideas, it’s kind of just keeping it in the back of my mind in day-to-day activities.  Whenever I come across something that might be a good blog topic and once I have it in the back of my mind, I just go with it.  I don’t think getting the ideas for the blog post is the difficult part, it’s actually just sitting down and doing it and making the blog post."

Cozen O’Connor‘s Mike Schmidt explains that a key element to blogging is being able to reach an intended audience and his blog, Social Media Employment Law Blog, shows that the Philadelphia attorney is making good on that element of success.

"I am certainly honored that the blog has been recognized among the best with a certainly impressive group of other labor and employment blogs.  I think it’s important to not only provide good content but also to provide the content in a way that offers some value to the intended audience; in my case, employers looking for information on the impact of social media on employment law.  I’m happy that it’s been recognized and hopefully that’s an indicator of showing that I’ve been doing what I have meant to do so far."

As the lone international nominee on the list, Toronto attorney Lisa Stam is thrilled that her blog, Employment & Human Rights Law in Canada, made the list and credits the blog design as a big reason that her readership has increased.

"I was surprised because it’s an American list and usually Canadians are not on the radar in the first place and there are a lot of great Canadian blogs that were not on that list.  I am pleased.  I have no doubt that a lot of that has to do with the professional look of the blog that LexBlog puts out.  Our readership has expanded because of LexBlog, so that’s has a large contribution to it all.  To be in the company of some of the other blogs, it is a big deal for me, there are some big players there."

When Chicago attorney Jeff Nowak started FMLA Insights last year, neither Nowak nor his firm, Franczek Radelet, could have predicted the blog’s success.  Nowak is humbled to be on the same list as some of the great bloggers he has followed over time and hopes to learn from them and continue to grow as a labor and employment blogger.

"I am humbled and honored to be among some great labor and employment blogs.  I regularly read a number of them.  Those by Daniel Schwartz and Robin Shea come to mind.  There are some great blogs out there, particularly offered through LexBlog and I’m honored to be part of that group.  One year after going live with our FMLA Insights blog, I would never imagine, at this point, being among such elite company, but obviously I am excited about it.  I’m still learning more and more with every blog post and picking up on things that other bloggers do, which is always helpful."

Other blogs in the LexBlog Network that made this LexisNexis list include:

Voting for the "LexisNexis Top Labor and Employment Law Blog of the Year," ends Friday. With the LexBlog Network dominating the list, it is highly possible that one of our labor and employment bloggers is considered to be the new standard for the industry, according to LexisNexis.  Though there can only be one winner, we are endlessly proud of all the authors in our network who made the list, as well as all the other bloggers in the LexBlog Network who continue to pave the way for legal marketing through blogging.

After establishing herself as one of the top family law experts in Massachusetts, Boston attorney Nancy Van Tine now has her sights set on establishing her expertise nationally and internationally and has chosen her blog, Massachusetts Divorce Law Monitor, as a means of reaching the world at large.

"Divorce is a very local business and the laws are state-driven, but some of the general things are nationwide and it’s interesting to see how (others) cope with the same things we do." said Van Tine.  "Some (laws) are the same and some are wildly different."

As chair of the Divorce & Family Law Group and co-chair of the Private Client Group at Burns & Levinson, Van Tine has undoubtedly experienced a variety of issues in her 30-plus-year career as a family lawyer.  The issue that concerns her most are the general misconceptions about divorce law.  This notion was the driving force behind VanTine’s decision to create her blog two years ago.

"I started the blog because I felt there was a lot of misinformation out there and a lot of people think certain things about (divorce) that aren’t true," Van Tine said.

Conversational, insightful and clever, Massachusetts Divorce Law Monitor contains Van Tine’s original thought and commentary on an array of important divorce issues relevant both in the media and in the lives of people she encounters on a daily basis.  In typical New England fashion, Van Tine’s posts are quick to the point and her passion for divorce law shines through her writing.

"My blog tends to be more personal than many lawyer blogs," said Van Tine.  "I thought it would be a good forum to talk about the (divorce) process itself and the ordinary bits and pieces that somebody out there looking for the information to do a divorce can get the information they need."

Van Tine’s credibility has kept her practice busy over the years, but her ability to deliver important and useful information to readers on her blog is what has brought recent success that has extended her network beyond Beantown and the Old Colony State.  Thanks to her blog, Van Tine has taken on many huge clients, including cases involved with the Hague Abduction Convention, an organization that handles international child custody and kidnapping cases.

"Initially, (blogging) would get me a client a month but now I probably don’t see anybody who hasn’t read the blog, which is really good because they feel like they know me when they come in," Van Tine said.

In addition to exposure to new clients, Van Tine has become a regular contributing writer for both the Huffington Post and Women’s Forum and has been mentioned in various publications and blogs.

"I feel very connected to a number of bloggers who quote me on their blogs and I quote them on mine and we link to each other periodically," Van Tine said.

With the recent slew of major clients and syndication writings, one might wonder how Van Tine finds time to blog.  She credits her support staff, comprised of younger lawyers under her wing who occasionally write posts in her absence, and her business development manager, Scott Katz, for keeping her multi-laterally focused.

"(Scott) keeps my nose to the grindstone, "  said Van Tine.  "If he doesn’t see anything going on for a few days on the backend, he’ll nudge me and its very good to have that."

The support to keep her publication regularly maintained has helped Van Tine tremendously, though she admits it can be tough at times.  Her advice to bloggers is to simply be consistent.

"Even if you don’t feel like it, get something up there at least once a week," Van Tine said.  "It really makes a difference for your readers."

 When Florida criminal defense lawyer Michelle Estlund started the Red Notice Law Journal earlier this year, she was looking to simply add depth to the resource-shallow canon of discussion surrounding a very specific area of international criminal law, but has quickly found blogging essential for her professional development.

"(The blog) has been helpful to me because it (has) forced me to stay abreast of all new developments regarding particular issues, which plugs me into information and people I might not typically come across without it," Estlund said.

The Red Notice Law Journal focuses on issues and news related to INTERPOL, the world’s largest international police organization, with particular attention to international extradition and Red Notices.  The individualized nature of each Red Notice case combined with the small number of lawyers who specialize in Red Notices leaves many unanswered questions regarding Red Notices.  The Red Notice Law Journal provides a platform for those affected by Red Notices and their attorneys to engage in discussion and to raise the general awareness of issues associated with Red Notices and related  extradition proceedings.

"I noticed when I first started doing this (blog) there was not much in the way of communication between lawyers who did this kind of work," said Estlund.  "There was very little in-depth treatment (on) the issue of INTERPOL or Red Notices that I could find on the internet or print media so I wanted to start something that would generate that conversation and act as a spring board for discussion."

Though resources are few and far between, Estlund makes the most of what is available to her by talking to Red Notice recipients and experts, keeping regular communication with INTERPOL and examining all available research studies, news articles, and INTERPOL press releases.

Estlund knows that followers of her blog have a genuine interest in Red Notices, but they may be intimated by a lack of knowledge on the subject, which is why she writes in a manner that clearly explicates information that can be easily comprehended by a broad audience.

"I’m not trying to be overly witty or provide water cooler conversation," said Estlund.  "I’m trying to be accessible to people who might not have English as their first or second language and who are affected by Red Notices and INTERPOL."

Taking a complex concept and making it universally understood is unique skill that Estlund possesses and it has not gone unnoticed.  Her ability to reach readers and help them absorb Red Notice and extradition material has brought about new clients for her solo practice.

"(Blogging) has been extremely helpful in bringing me clients," said Estlund.  "Without the blog, a majority of my clients wouldn’t know that I do this kind of work or feel any sort of personal connection to me to the extent that they do."

Blogging has helped Estlund build connections with not only clients, but readers as well.  Many people respond to her by email, instead of posting comments, since most responses accompany privacy and frustration.

"I get responses from people who have already been through the ringer and spent so much money and time trying to show their innocence in the countries that request the Red Notices," said Estlund.  "I think I’m able to help them because I can appreciate what they’ve been through and because I enjoy this work so much."

Having incorporated blogging into her practice only six months ago, Estlund has been enjoying the benefits of blogging and advises bloggers to simply sit down and commit to writing for the ideas to come.

"Even if you think you don’t have anything to write about, the moment you sit down and start your thought process, something’s going to come to you," said Estlund.  "So I think the idea is just putting yourself in the chair on a regular basis and writing."