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Corporate clients want lawyers who blog

February 11, 2008

Holden Oliver (a/k/a JD Hull?) at What About Clients, referencing Teri Rassmussen’s post yesterday, believes law firm blogs aren’t worth a lick when it comes to client development, especially sophisticated corporate clients his firm is seeking.

…[M]ost clients worth having–and certainly busy in-house counsel–have no time to read blogs, think about blogs or to blog themselves. Real clients want their real lawyers working their asses off solving problems–not blogging. Blogger-professionals need to get over themselves. A client’s knowledge that you are blogging regularly is about as helpful–or harmful–as knowing that you go to the track a couple of times a week with your drunken philandering stoner high school friend Ernie from Glen Burnie. Colorful and interesting–but so what? And with the wrong client, it could even hurt. Moreover, blogging still has a geeky connotation with the over-45 crowd who control much of the work law firms get. Clients could care less if you blog and might even resent it.

Very shortsighted and self limiting belief.

It’s the busiest people in this country who are reading blogs – including execs and in-house counsel. As long as 2 years ago, over 20% of execs read at least one business blog a week. The same study found senior execs much more familiar with the value of blogs than lawyers.

LexBlog has multiple AmLaw 200 law firms who publish blogs for the sole reason of keeping their clients up to speed on legal issues in niches – something their corporate clients demand because of the significant legal fees they were paying.

I have had multiple in-house counsel at Fortune 500 companies tell me they wish more of the lawyers they use would blog. One, general counsel for a top 50 Fortune 500 firm told me he prefers sending legal work to lawyers who blog. He told me the newsletters he gets from the large firms are ridiculous – the content isn’t even giving him credit for being a lawyer.

Why? Insight and commentary on niche areas of the law. Understanding a lawyer’s philosophy and take on things. As well as some of the things Rasmussen mentions.

What about clients‘ has dissed the value of blogs in the corporate space for a long time. The reason being apparently that the firm’s clients are above blogs.

It may be that their failure to understand the value of blogs to sophisticated corporate clients and dissing the value of blogs to their clients is self limiting. It’s keeping them apart from exec’s, in-house counsel, and corporate clients that appreciate blogs.

Also very perplexing that if blogs are aren’t worth a lick to the firm’s clients, why is that the ‘What about Clients?’ blog continues to expand right along with its law firm?

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