The State Bar of Wisconsin is the latest bar associaton to partner with LexBlog to bring a legal blogging community to their state or metropolitan area.
The legal blogging community partnerships are twofold. One to create a hub for all things legal blogging in the jurisdiction. And two, to make it easy and low cost for lawyers to begin to blog or to continue blogging on a better platform than they’re currently using.
From Michelle Newblom, reporting for LexBlog on this partnership, over the past few years, the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Communications Team noticed a steady increase in the number of its 25,000-plus members who are actively blogging as a way to communicate their expertise and build their reputation.
But bloggers were looking for a way to increase readership of their blogs. And for lawyers in general, there was not an easy place to find relevant blogs, subscribe to multiple blogs at once and access a central database of this growing body of secondary law.
The Bar’s answer was the launch of an online blogging community exclusively for Wisconsin legal bloggers—WisLawNOW, using LexBlog’s Portal solution, the same technology platform powering LexBlog’s global legal blogging community at LexBlog.com.
Per Joyce Hastings, communications director for the Bar:
“We want WisLawNOW to be the hub for member-generated content in Wisconsin.
WisLawNOW gives our members access to a growing, timely library of legal knowledge that is searchable and responsive to mobile devices.”
Aggregating numerous Wisconsin legal blogs into one hub provides bloggers and their firms with greater visibility. Readers can easily navigate to different subject-matter channels and view profile pages of author biographies and the blogs published by a lawyer or firm.
Peter Kraemer, digital communications coordinator for the Bar, wants to ensure that regardless of a blogger’s location or practice niche, they can widely share their expertise and create connections with a broader audience.
We’re excited about the prospect of really bringing together a whole community within this easy-to-use product. It’s their words that matter to our audience. We just want to bring their insight to everybody.
The WisLawNOW community is not just for lawyers. It’s a resource for the public as well, per Hastings.
“There are a lot of people who are interested in the law beyond the legal profession – especially for those whose work requires them to stay on top of change. WisLawNOW also is a potential resource for referrals within the legal community as well as the public.”
COVID-19 is a perfect of example of the public needing legal information overnight and lawyer-bloggers stepping up to the plate to fill the void, per Hastings.
When the pandemic hit, the Communications Team lacked an effective infrastructure to quickly aggregate this new content for the public, per Hastings. The WisLawNow portal takes some of the pressure off the in-house team.
Like other bars, Hastings has a small team, she needed a way to efficiently develop and push content as issues evolved. Leveraging the latest in aggravated publishing technology in the form of a legal blogging community enabled the Bar to readily make information available without diverting resources from other priorities.
Wiscosnin’s a big state with a lot of communities lacking bloggers on various niche subjects. There are also subjects not being covered on statewide niches for wich there are succesful legal bloggers in other states.
To help lawyers get started blogging, and to grow this legal blogging community, the Bar will make LexBlog’s professional turnkey blogging solution available for free, and after six months, at only $39 a month.
That’s the price of a WordPress.com business blog and a solution that LexBlog sells for $200 a month.
LexBlog will walk Wisconsin lawyers through the setting up of their blog and provide them education on how to blog strategically and effectively.
It’s a real honor for me, growing up in Wisconsin and practicing as trial lawyer there for seventeen years, for LexBlog to be part of building Wisconsin’s legal blogging community.
I’m right with Kraemer in hoping that through WisLawNOW, the people of Wisconsin “get a real sense of who the thought-leaders are in Wisconsin,” and that the blogging community grows “to act as a forum for lawyer members.”