Jared Sulzdorf (@j_sulz), one of our account managers, and I were talking to a DC lawyer and marketing professional this afternoon. The topic was taking one of their firm’s blogs to the ‘next level.’

We covered a lot of ground including focus, the use of images, scannable copy, writing in a conversational tone, exhibiting passion, and engaging influencers.

Near the end of our call we discussed ‘listening’ to industry specific content via Zite and Flipboard. The content was not about law, but about general affairs and developments within the industry the blog covered and within which the lawyer practiced.

It was perfect. Rather than the lawyer and his fellow lawyer bloggers sharing legal updates like every other law blog, the lawyers would share the stories they read.

Not just “here’s a story I read” and a link. But share the story as many bloggers share stories, wether from mainstream media or a blog. Flipboard and Zite serve up both. Reference the reporter, share a block-quote or two, and let your readers know why you’re sharing the story with them.

Bring some passion and context for your readers. If there’s a way you can bring in the law, great. But it’s fine if you don’t. Just bring your take.

The lawyers on the blog in question worked for clients within an industry. Not only did they know about the law applying to the industry but they knew about the industry as a whole. Much more than other lawyers.

These lawyers were in a much better position to have a take about things they read and to share their thoughts and the context for what the article/story means to their blog audience of clients, prospective clients, and the influencers of those two (bloggers, reporters, industry leaders).

Reading and blogging non-law items shows their audience the lawyers stay up to speed on industry affairs. It shows the lawyers have a passion for matters within the industry.

With multiple lawyers, you get all sorts of items being shared. Each have different passions, each will pull different articles from Zite and Flipboard, and each will bring a different take to industry matters.

‘Engaging’ the content the lawyers read like this and the reporters/bloggers of this content opens the door to lots of relationships for the lawyers. Relationships with people that lawyers normally wouldn’t connect with, such as big time influencers within the industry.

Imagine lawyers having interests outside the law. And expressing those interests in an open and authentic fashion. What a novel concept.

So novel that your blog rises to the next level and breaks out of the typical for law firms.

The blogging lawyers may even have some fun and their audience may have fun reading the blog.

Image courtesy of Cornell.