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Legal Bloggers Must Tell Readers How the Law Applies to Them

September 17, 2020

Too many blogging lawyers report the law, rather than share an interpretation of the law. At the same time, it’s the interpretation of the law – what the law means to them – that blog readers are looking for.

When it comes down to it, any second year law student can report the law. They’ve done plenty of it already in law school.

You can also hire people who are not lawyers to write your legal blog posts. Other lawyers hire lawyers who are not practicing and have no expertise in the niche to write their blog posts. Sadly, too many lawyers do.

Darryl Cross, well known for his work in helping business leaders develop high performing teams, commenting on a recent post of mine, shared:

The biggest pivot lawyers need to make is going from “here is what the law says” to “here is what I PERSONALLY think it means to you”. It is a watershed moment that anyone can do—-if they have the courage to do so. And they should. Take a stand, have a point of view, and you will have a great blog.

Cross is spot on.

Imagine a client on the phone asking you a question. You’d sound pretty silly saying let me pull out this case or regulation summary and read it to you.

You’d listen to the client share the situation, maybe ask a few questions and then offer your take – preliminary or general as it may be, without going further.

Blogging is the same.

Legal blogging works, not because you are competing with Westlaw, but because you are creating an intimate relationship of trust with people, including in-house counsel and execs, by sharing your take. Your take, founded on experience and judgment.

Blogging like this shouldn’t take courage, as Cross alludes to. Helping people is why we went to law school. Being afraid to talk with folks also won’t get you far as a lawyer.

But if courage it takes to take a stand and have a point of view, you need to do it.

Not in the sense of poking your thumb in someone’s eye or being a Rush Limbaugh, but in the sense of here’s my take on how the law applies to you, to this situation.

There is nothing unethical about sharing general insight on the law. That’s not an issue.

You can easily separate yourself from other legal bloggers, maybe lawyers on the same law firm blog, by saying here is what I think.

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