I shared a couple years ago that FindLaw blogs were an embarrassment to the legal profession.

The reason being that Findlaw was publishing blogs authored by Findlaw employees that, in my opinion, were nothing more than a regurgitation of news content. The goal being to fill a blog post with keywords that could link to FindLaw websites or websites FindLaw sold to law firms. In other words, spam blogs to game Google’s search engine rankings.

I mentioned that a ‘Emily Grube,’ a writing specialist, not a lawyer, was one of the folks writing the FindLaw blog posts.

Last week I received an anonymous comment from someone who says they used to work at FindLaw.

I used to work as a writer at FindLaw – not blogs, more just churning out the firmsite stuff. As such I just want to say, don’t be too hard on Emily Grube.

FindLaw hires people who have only vague notions about the law, then tells them “write like this, it might make you feel like a shithead but trust us, it’s okay.”

Grube was just following orders. Don’t blame her, don’t shit on her life just because FindLaw put her in the position of offending the wrong people.

Nice.

FindLaw is continuing with spam law blogs. This time rather than with its own FindLaw blogs such as the New York Personal Injury Legal Blog, which gave rise to my earlier post, FindLaw is apparently selling ghostwritten blogs to lawyers.

Take a look at the ‘Recently Added Blogs’ on FindLaw’s Legal Blog Network.

FindLaw Law blogs

The blogs are not written by lawyers, they are written ‘On Behalf of” a law firm. I guess that way it’s not false or misleading advertising contra to bar rules for implying that a firm’s lawyer authored the blog.

I thought I had seen some ‘real posts’ written on behalf of a law firm on some of the ‘Recently Added Blogs,’ but the following are the only blog posts I see today on these blogs.

  • From the Boston MA Personal Injury Law Blog, published by Kenney & Conley, PC one blog post of January 4:

    We established this blog to share stories and information about topics relevant to our practice. Our intent is to highlight local stories, as well as national subject matter, that we think you will find interesting. We will regularly update this blog and encourage you to share your thoughts on these posts.

  • From the Fredericksburg VA Family Law Blog, published by Jarrell, Hicks & Waldman, PC, one blog post of January 9:

    We established this blog to share stories and information about topics relevant to our practice. Our intent is to highlight local stories, as well as national subject matter, that we think you will find interesting. We will regularly update this blog and encourage you to share your thoughts on these posts.

  • From the Pearl River NY Tax Law Blog, published by The Law Offices of Hugh Janow, LLC, one blog post of January 9:

    We established this blog to share stories and information about topics relevant to our practice. Our intent is to highlight local stories, as well as national subject matter, that we think you will find interesting. We will regularly update this blog and encourage you to share your thoughts on these posts.

See any similarity in those blog posts?

I know the blogs are going to go on to have additional blog posts. FindLaw has likely sold the law firms ‘X’ number of blog posts per week or month.

Rather than insight and commentary on the law from a practicing lawyer though, the posts will be a shallow regurgitation of news stories like this post titled entitled ‘Georgia girl suffers lost arm from pit bull attack, testifies,’ paraphrasing a Atlanta Journal-Constitution story.

Maybe by blogging about this I am being too hard on the law firms who are buying these blogs from FindLaw. They likely don’t know anything about how to use the Internet for business development. They probably don’t know how poorly what FindLaw is selling them reflects on their law firm and its attorneys.

But Findlaw ought to know better and ought to be playing straight up with members of the legal profession it serves.

Sell expensive stuff to unknowing lawyers who don’t how the Internet works and who don’t know their reputation is being tarnished by what you’re selling them. What a business model.

  • It’s unfortunate that more attorneys don’t recognize what’s happening, or that Google is much better at searching than Westlaw is at fooling them. These same, tired blog posts are used over and over again, with minor changes, around the country.
    Does anyone really believe that Google is unable to recognize and discount these blogs? In areas like Divorce and Bankruptcy, the marketing is more important than the lawyering. While personal injury lawyers might market even more, people can generally gauge how successful they’ve been. Who knows how successful a divorce lawyer has been?

  • Janet Williams

    Thank you for the really great work you do Kevin.
    You guys really lead the way by sharing
    suberb content. I have found and used wondeful
    information because of your efforts.
    Thanks,
    Janet Williams

  • Walter Sobchek

    Not sure If I agree. This appears to be marketing, plain and simple. Is there some rule that says lawyers must not advertise and use ,arresting strategies that the rest of the business world?
    This reminds me of an old lawyer I recall seeing give a speech who stated advertising ruined the legal field.

  • Interesting point of view, but it’s hard to hold Findlaw responsible for this (outside of the duplicate welcome post) unless they don’t allow the law firms to add their own blog posts.
    I think you nailed it with your comment, “They likely don’t know anything about how to use the Internet for business development.”
    Blogs are essential today, but I warn clients that it is better not to have a blog then to have one and never post anything. Unfortunately until the search engines stop allowing blogs like these to work we’ll see them around. Just like the mass link building, but don’t get me started on that :)