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The Integrity Challenge: Ensuring Authenticity in Legal Blogs

A few days ago, I wrote about the transformation of legal blogs into a facet of legal publishing.

This evolution is noteworthy, as niche-focused law blogs have begun to cover more territory—and at a quicker pace—than traditional law reviews. Legal blogs are now a form of secondary law, the sole province of law journals, and articles, until now.

However, not all that glitters in the blogosphere is gold. In my previous post, I excluded a category of law blogs that I referred to as “junk blogs.” Maybe too harsh a term.

These blogs are crafted not with the aim of disseminating legal knowledge but rather for the purpose of enhancing search engine rankings. They are penned by legal marketers who are apt to prioritize visibility over veracity, thereby misleading the public about the true authorship and intent behind the content.

I received some comments about marketing or ghost written posts are a form of legal blogging.

I don’t see how when defining what constitutes a legal blog within the realm of legal publishing and, by extension, legal scholarship.

Consider the implications of this trend. Imagine a law library where treatises and law reviews are authored not by legal scholars but by marketing professionals aiming to spotlight lawyers, law professors, and law students for name recognition and professional gain.

Or picture a public library, where the names gracing the spines of books or bylines of articles do not belong to the true authors but to individuals seeking to enhance their visibility.

What if newspapers operated similarly, publishing stories not written by their reporters but by less costly writers, all while crediting the reporters?

In these scenarios, the credibility of the library or newspaper as a source of knowledge and information would undoubtedly be compromised.

The same principle applies to legal blogs. When the content is not authored by the legal professionals listed, the integrity and credibility of these sources are called into question.

As legal blogs increasingly mirror traditional legal publications in their influence and reach, ensuring their authenticity and integrity is not just beneficial—it’s imperative.

“Legal blogs” not intended to be authentic or authored with integrity have to lie outside legal publishing.