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Lawyers moral obligation to blog gathers more coverage : Denise Howell

In her podcast of last week, Denise Howell of Bag and Baggage discussed my message that lawyers have a social obligation to blog.

Denise makes the excellent point that lawyers have an obligation to make better use of technology. Her point is that through the effective use of technology, lawyers can make the law more accessible at a reasonable price. I wholeheartedly agree.

During my one year covenant to compete with LexisNexis, I spent time looking at the legal services arena’s innovative use of technology. Legal services programs across this country are light years ahead of most private practice lawyers and the large legal publishers in adopting technoloy. It’s the pefect example of neccesity being the mother of invention. Legal services programs do not have the money to operate inefeciently so they need to adopt technology to make the law accessible to lower income people.

Denise questions whether I am really saying lawyers have a moral obligation to society to blog. She goes on to say a lawyer could view their blogging about a niche area of the law as a way of meeting their social obligation but that failing to do so is not reneging on their social obligation.

My message is in fact that lawyers have a moral obligation to blog. Lawyers have so much to share with people. Lawyers have an obligation to improve the image of our legal system, a corner stone of our American society. The ABA says legal education from lawyers on the net and better communication with the public will do this. Blogs empower lawyers to do exactly this.

Lawyers can take a pass, claiming they are too busy. That’s fine. I just think lawyers have a few hours a month to give something back to the system that does so much for them. Imagine people, consumers to business executives, coming to Google and finding good practical information from lawyers across the country. Imagine these people finding, overtime, lawyers trusted and reliable authorities – that’s good stuff. If 10% of the lawyers do 90% of the work in providing free legal info on blogs, the 90% of the lawyers who pass will still benefit. But I guess that’s the way it is with most things.

I understand many lawyers are giving back to society by serving the legal system in other ways. But the majority are not. In addition, whatever has been done by lawyers over the last few decades to try and improve the image of our profession sure as heck as not worked.

I founded a company that provides a professional marketing blogs to the legal profession. I expect cynics to view my message as self serving. But lawyers are free to use other services and I help lawyers all the time, free of charge, who do not use LexBlog. I intend to stay on course with this message. I went to law school to help people. I can do this by teaching lawyers how to use the Internet to provide legal info.

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