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We’re too scared to let our lawyers blog

I hear that routinely from law firms, from the largest in the world to 3 and 4 person law firms.

But as Liz Strauss, an expert in corporate online communications and communities, asks ‘is the blog the problem?’ A blog, though a relative unknown, is just a tool. Look at the real issue that’s scaring you.

Look to the people. Isn’t the issue one of trust and control? The employer is concerned about what employees might write on the blog.

We let employees talk to customers daily — answering email, answering phone call, answering questions at exhibits, and answering letters at the office. We trust what they write on behalf of our company. We once worried in the same way about the telephone and email. Still today any of those customer conversations could be shared internationally or in a court of law.

It comes down to hiring and training employees who make good decisions.

If we trust our ability to choose the right employees and to let them know the values that we hold for our company and our customers, the question of whether we should let them blog falls away as an issue.

A blog is a powerful, customer-facing tool. Like a computer, it’s as strong as the people we choose to use it.

Liz’ post is part of a series of blog posts she’s doing on the ‘The ROI of Trust.’ Trust is what it’s all about. Does your law firm trust your lawyers to talk about what it is the lawyer likes to do?

I was told recently of one senior lawyer who was told by the firm that they would not be permitted to blog. ‘The firm does not allow its lawyers to blog.’ The lawyer responded with a question. ‘Why am I working at a place that does not trust me to talk about what I do – about a niche in the law I am passionate about?’

Law firms allow its lawyers, even new associates, to use the phone, write letters, go to court, speak with clients, write articles for industry publications, speak at conferences, and to network with existing and potential clients. Why? Because the law firm believes it hired talented lawyers and trained them appropriately as to firm protocols.

Why should blogs be any different?

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