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Nolo is great source of educational information for your Web site

Nolo, of all places, should be looked at by Internet marketing savvy lawyers as a great source of educational information for their law firm Web sites. Speaking with Nolo’s head of business development today, I learned I can license the the content published in the encyclopedia section of their Web site so that it may be republished on the Web sites of lawyers I am working with. The cost is very reasonable – a pittance compared to the time it would take to produce similar content. The Nolo copyright would have a low profile presence on the lawyers Web page and not not be ‘hotlinked.’

Nolo has historically been a two edge sword for lawyers. They have always had well written ‘consumer friendly’ and practical legal information. Truth be told there are a lot of lawyers out there like me who bought Nolo publications as a guide in a new area of the law. On the other hand, Nolo used to hold no punches in bashing lawyers labeling us as sharks to facilitate their marketing effort.

Nolo is softening this marketing approach. Nolo’s mission statement is now to publish reliable, plain-English books, software, forms and their website to help people handle their own everyday legal matters — or learn enough about them to make working with a lawyer a more satisfying experience. Nolo’s customers have told them they often buy Nolo’s publications and then hire a lawyer.

Nolo’s content is pretty good. Everything Nolo publishes is regularly revised, updated and improved by their staff of lawyer-editors, to make sure that it’s the best it can be. They pay attention not only to changes in the law, but to feedback from customers, lawyers, judges and court staffers. Sure there is Nolo content you and I would disagree with. Don’t use that article for your site or add a link at the bottom to an article you have written explaining your approach.

When I successfully marketed my own law firm on the Internet, Nolo had a policy of allowing the re-publication of a very limited number of articles from their Web site in return for a link to the Nolo site. I used the content telling people I was offering it as a service to help them understand the law. Our audience loved it.

Nolo still uses portions of their Web site to promote their own proposals for reforming America’s legal system, and to poke a little fun at courts and lawyers. Nolo acknowledges it’s because they know the legal system so well — after all, almost all of our editors and authors are lawyers themselves — that we enjoy slipping in a lawyer joke here and there.� I would not let that scare you off from using Nolo’s content. None of us should take ourselves too seriously. To accept that the legal system could use improvement will cast you in better light with prospective clients coming to your Web site.

Grab the Nolo content you see appropriate (by contacting me and paying that pittance) and complement it with your content. By doing so, you’ll help the public and yourself.

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