My friend and fellow entrepreneur, Deborah McMurray (@contentpilot), asked me last week for my estimate on the number of attorney blogs today and my prediction for the coming years. McMurray was speaking to the Dallas Legal Marketing Association regarding top trends in marketing and wanted to include an update on blogs.

I thought you’d be interested in the information I shared with her.

There are a approximately 3,500 law blogs. These numbers are based upon figures from LexBlog’s LXBN Network and the ABA Journal Blog Directory.

This number is markedly below the numbers from an ABA Tech Survey which estimated that 10% of attorneys and 27% of law firms have law blogs. I have no idea how the survey arrived at those numbers, I found them incredible.

I expect to see significant growth in legal blogs (25%/30% plus per year) based on historical growth and for the following reasons, among others.

  • Lawyers’ recognition that blogging is nothing more than networking through the Internet to build relationships and a strong word of mouth reputation, the long recognized lynchpins of business development in the law.
  • With the decline in general legal work, we’ll see a rise in strategic business development by attacking niche markets and industries. Blogs are quiquely suited to establishing a lawyer as a ‘go to’ lawyer in a niche, ie, “Retail Patent Litigation.”
  • Social media continues to explode as a relationship builder and reputation enhancer. A law blog is the hub of a lawyer’s online presence and activity in building relationships and enhancing your reputation.
  • The enjoyment and personal rewards a lawyer receives in doing what they love, for whom they want to do it for, and being recognized as a trusted authority in the area. Blogging delivers here at a time when all too many lawyers are disenchanted with their work.

As the number of blogs grows, I expect the rate of growth to only increase. As niches get filled, lawyers will see the opportunity to fill more niches by subject and locale. There will also be a snowball effect as law reviews, journals, and periodicals are replaced by blogs.

Understand that I am referring to blogs on which lawyers are providing insight and commentary. I am not including content written by ghost writers for lawyers nor am I including content that is included on a website under a “blog” heading for the sole purpose of generating search traffic.

Image courtesy of Flickr by Richard Bowen.