Leading legal technology expert and lawyer, Dennis Kennedy, advises rather than retrenching in a slowing economy, law firms must be being willing to think of technology in terms of an investment.

In a slow economy, you need to make smart choices about technology. Focusing hard on return on investment is important, but not if you are using that as an excuse to shut down technology investment. A better approach is to get a lot of options on the table and consider their likely risk and potential return. Then prudently pick a diverse portfolio of technology investment projects and step boldly forward. Not all of them may work, but the diversification will, and you’ll find yourself well positioned for the changes to come, both in the economy and the practice of law.

Dennis identifies six factors law firms should carefully consider when investing in technology in a slowing economy. All factors fit blogs to a tea.

  • Technology that cuts costs. Law firms regularly use blogs to reduce expense. Less marketing department time when lawyers are charged with publishing. No design and formatting fees as the case with email newsletters. No additional SEO or sponsored link fees – blogs rank high on search engines by themselves.
  • Technology that makes you indispensable to your clients. Niche focused blogs keep clients up to speed on areas of the law, something sophisticated in-house counsel and executives are demanding.
  • Technology that helps you get new clients. Goes without saying with blogs. Just talk to to lawyers publishing a blog effectively.
  • Technology that helps you move into new practice areas (or Creates profitable niche practices). Did someone say niche blogs?
  • Technology that helps you recruit and retain great people. Lawyers have demanded right to blog before making lateral moves to AmLaw 200 firms. Other innovative AmLaw 200 firms are promoting associate blogs to recruit and retain the best and brightest.
  • Technology that makes you saner. Blogging on a topic you enjoy, getting positive feedback from clients, bloggers, the media, and thought leaders in your field, and growing your business. Better than a martini for an attitude adjustment.

I was wondering how a slowing economy may effect LexBlog’s business. Reading Dennis’ post and giving it some thought, it’s safe to say the law blog explosion is likely to continue.