By Kevin O'Keefe

Lawyers’ moral obligation to blog : idea getting traction

Last month I blogged that lawyers have a moral obligation to blog. The idea is being spread by some well known and respected Internet publishers. Unfortunately, the subject seems to have been ignored by some lawyers publishing leading ‘law blogs.’

  • Tod Maffin, broadcaster for Canada’s CBC television & radio, named by The Globe and Mail as “One of Canada’s most influential futurists, and publisher of Future File, in his post “Will lawyers be ethically bound to blog?
  • Jerry Lawson in his post “The Brighter Side of Blogging,”

    I agree completely that the potential is there for us all to realize the benefits Kevin cites. It will be interesting to see how well the potential is realized.

    In my view the experience with lawyer print and television ads has not been good. The experience with web sites has been somewhat better, since the medium does not lend itself as readily to hucksterism. There is reason to share Kevin’s hope that the experience with the blog flavor of web sites may be better. While blogs can be used for any number of purposes, my sense is that they lend themselves even less readily than conventional web sites to hucksterism.

  • Stark County Law Library Law Blog in its post “Ethical Duty to Blog?
  • Kevin Heller of Tech Law Advisor in his post “Belly Up to the Bar IV,” referencing my post with mention of his own post about expanding the definition of pro bono.

What’s alarming to me is that the well known “established law bloggers”, featured by the American Law Journal’s Law.com and the American Bar Association’s ABA TechShow, are silent on the issue as far as I can tell (following my trackbacks).

At the same time the ABA documents both our awful reputation as lawyers and the public’s suggestion that lawyers provide practical legal information on the Internet to improve our image, we have “leading law blogs’ effectively supported by the American Bar Association not championing the cause of law blogs as means of getting practical legal information to the public.

Dennis Kennedy, one of the leader’s of TechShow does see the potential of law blogs improving the image of our profession. I think he is up for the challenge we have. This from his 2005 legal predictions:

The legal bloggers have done a great job of changing others’ perceptions of lawyers for the better, at least on the Internet. Watch for innovation and more generation of goodwill from the world of legal bloggers.

You guys with the leading law blogs have the ear of thousands of lawyers. Take the opportunity to tell them to do something most rewarding – help people. Take the challenge, we can improve the image of our legal profession. It’s in the interest of us lawyers and the public we serve.

Kevin O'Keefe
About the Author

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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