The well-established and freshly redesigned Canadian Securities Law, from Stikeman Elliott, is a great example of how a traditional newsletter can evolve, via blogging, into something much more valuable.

Steered by the securities and knowledge management lawyers at the firm, the blog focuses on Canadian securities law relating to corporate finance, capital markets, mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance. While they initially wanted to be able to share the same information conveyed in newsletters on a more timely basis, the firm soon realized that blogging opened up options previously unavailable.

"What we have found interesting is that the blog platform has changed both the information we publish and the frequency with which share the information with clients," says Toronto knowledge management lawyer Alex Colangelo, one of the blog’s managers. "The ease with which we can post to a blog has allowed us to publish short pieces of content more frequently then we did in the past while at the same time allowing us to continue publishing our longer analytical pieces."

In other words, the blog has become a source for news, analysis and updates, where their clients can visit or subscribe to stay informed on developments they care about.

We caught up with Alex for this LexBlog Q&A to learn more about what the firm has learned since starting a blog and what advice they’d have for other firms.

See our email exchange with Alex, after the jump.

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Sometimes just one attorney at a firm is engaged and involved in blogging, and sometimes the whole gang gets involved in a firm’s blog.

That’s the case for the Virginia Real Estate, Land Use and Construction Law Blog, where instead of just one blogger to profile, we have three dynamic attorney-bloggers from the Virginia firm Bean, Kinney & Korman.

Timothy Hughes, Heidi Meinzer and Tad Lunger each serve as the "editor" for the different fields the blog covers. Tim is the Lead Editor, Heidi is editor of Litigation and Tad handles Land Use. It’s a great way to make sure all relevant topics get covered without running into issues of redundancy.

The blog has been live for just over six months, during which time the attorneys have made huge strides both in terms of connecting with others in their field and making the firm known as an authority on the subject.

"The blog has been the best way – individually and personally – to keep on top of real estate, land use and construction law issues," Heidi says. "It has the added benefit of making sure people in the industry know that Bean Kinney is great place to get help in these areas, every step of the way from acquiring or selling property, financing projects, getting through the land use and permitting issues and seeing the project through to the end."

We caught up with the attorneys at Bean, Kinney and Korman for the LexBlog Q&A to learn more about the response to their blog and why the construction law blogosphere is so vibrant.

See our email exchange with them, after the jump.

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Patrick LambYou won’t find Patrick Lamb mincing words on his blog, In Search of Perfect Client Service. Going strong for almost five years now, Patrick’s blog is a place to share his take on client service, drawn from his experience at Chicago business litigation firm Valorem Law Group.

"People like my candor and irreverence, and while they might not always agree with me, they tell me they find my views provocative," Patrick says. "I love it when people tell me I made them think."

Not only has blogging made Patrick’s thoughts and writing "sharper and clearer" but he’s received feedback and engaged in dialogue about his posts with everyone from a department chair at the University of Chicago to some of the blogosphere’s heavy hitters like Gerry Riskin and Rob Millard.

We reached out to Patrick for this LexBlog Q&A to find out more about his secrets of blogging regularly for four-plus years.

See our email exchange with Patrick, after the jump.

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Family lawyer Brian GalbraithToo often we get caught up in the promotional aspect of why lawyers blog – while building your brand, your practice and your thought leadership are all important things, sometimes it’s the human behind the posts that really makes a blog successful and worth reading.

Brian Galbraith, a family lawyer in Ontario, Canada, writes about family law in posts that come from his own experiences as a divorced parent. One post on the Ontario Family Law Blog from December, on spending the holidays alone for the first time after a divorce, was one of the most memorable posts from the LexBlog Network in all of 2009.

"I did not expect it to be such an emotionally cathartic experience for myself personally," Brian says of his blogging. "I have enjoyed being able to share my experience, both practical and personal, through the blog. It’s hard work but worth the effort. The reception from others has been encouraging and supportive."

Of course, he is also blogging to raise his profile within the legal community, the media community and to potential clients. We caught up with him for this LexBlog Q&A to learn more about what topics he likes to cover and why Canadian lawyers should have a blog.

See our email exchange with Brian, after the jump.

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Virginia attorney Jay O'KeeffeVirginia attorney Jay O’Keeffe is a self-described "kid in a candy store" when it comes to appellate litigation, and his passion for that type of work comes through in his blog posts on De Novo: A Virginia Appellate Law Blog.

At the encouragement of professional development coach Cordell Parvin (also a member of the LexBlog Network, who blogs at Law Consulting Blog), Jay started his blog to build the visibility of his practice, keep up on appellate developments and get some writing practice.

While he hasn’t (yet) gotten anyone else at his firm, Gentry Locke Rakes & Moore, to join him in the blogosphere, he’s built and solidified relationships with thought leaders and influencers in his own field and beyond.

"My potential clients and referral sources follow those sources closely," Jay says. "Blogging has let me join the conversation, but at my own speed."

We reached out to Jay for this LexBlog Q&A to find out more about what he’s learned about social media and what kind of work he does in his "day job."

See our email exchange with Jay, after the jump.

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Kate BladowMatthew BurnettThe public interest legal community has a gem in Technola, a blog that shares resources and information about the effective use of technology in the nonprofit legal sector. Run by Matthew Burnett and Kate Bladow of Pro Bono Net, the blog serves as a portal to all kinds of public interest law and technology links and issues.

Their blog has gained a following not just from legal aid and public interest advocates, but also from solo and small firm attorneys who use the site as a resource for lowering the costs of their legal services.

"We’ve found that blogging opens the door to opportunities and relationships in ways that few other tools, technology-based or otherwise, can," say the authors. "It also cements existing relationships and builds credibility and trust, which are now more important than ever."

We talked with Matthew and Kate for this LexBlog Q&A to learn more about their @accesstojustice Twitter account and what other nonprofit blogs they admire.

See our email exchange, after the jump.

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While we often feature our law bloggers in this space, we’d be remiss not to give attention to some of the successful non-law members of the LexBlog Network.

One those is retirement plan consultant Jerry Kalish, who works with employers to provide better opportunities for plan participants to meet their retirement income objectives. His company, National Benefit Services, works with both business owners and employers to put together customized retirement plans that work for them.

He’s also been blogging at the Retirement Plan Blog since 2004, a lifetime in blog years. His original aim of growing the business by using technology to reach his audience still holds true today.

"The response [to the blog] has been gratifying not in the terms of ego-massage, but being able to reach the target audience in a very effective and efficient manner," Jerry says. "And it has helped us grow our business."

We reached out to Jerry for this LexBlog Q&A to discuss more about the relationships he’s formed and how his blog has led to his writing for other outlets.

See our email exchange with Jerry, after the jump.

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Yaz attorney A.J. BartolomeoYou’ve likely seen the news reports about the dozens of lawsuits filed by women who have suffered serious injuries after taking Yaz, Yasmin and Ocella birth control pills. You probably also saw lots of information flying around about the risks and consequences of the pills from a variety of sources.

Litigator A.J. De Bartolomeo of the law firm of Girard Gibbs wanted to provide a one-stop shop for her clients and others affected by the pills to be able to educate themselves while not getting overwhelmed by the complications of mass litigation. Along with co-counsel Mike Danko, she launched Yaz on Trial to serve as "an outlet for women and their families to get a clear understanding of how the litigation is playing out."

They do this by writing in plain English (not legalese) and explaining common questions they’ve heard from numerous clients and other readers.

"Our focus at Yaz on Trial is on simplifying the mass litigation process, not only for individuals interested in our case, but for those involved in other mass actions as well," A.J. says.

We caught up with A.J. for this LexBlog Q&A to discuss more about why she started Yaz on Trial and how her blog helps her connect with women and their families.

See our email exchange with A.J., after the jump.

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Cruise Law attorney Jim WalkerJim Walker has always been ahead of the curve.

The Miami cruise law attorney has had a web presence since 1996, when he created his very first web site. A former defense attorney, he switched sides in 1999 and became an advocate for cruise ship passengers, years before the majority of Miami lawyers started marketing themselves as "cruise line lawyers."

And his blog, Cruise Law News? It only came into being after he had been hooked on Twitter (@CruiseLaw) for several months and realized he needed a forum to write in more than 140 characters.

Each component of his online presence serves a different but equally valuable purpose.

"Most of my competitors are where I was ten years ago," Jim says, "creating ego sites that say they are fantastic without providing any useful information to the consumer and without even attempting to establish a dialogue with the public. The Internet now requires an interactive exchange. So I am trying to use my blog to provide the most current and relevant information in my specialized field of law."

We caught up with Jim for this LexBlog Q&A to learn more about his online persona and how he uses his blog to beat the mainstream media to breaking news.

See our email exchange with Jim, after the jump.

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New York divorce attorney Daniel ClementIn this season of holiday parties, a common conversation topic as guests chat and mingle is the celebrity divorce of the day — something New York divorce attorney Daniel Clement knows well.

The author of the New York Divorce Report is often asked his take on whichever big-name couple is hogging the tabloids, and he uses it as a way to instruct his clients and other on how family law really works.

A large part of Daniel’s practice is making sure his clients know what they’re owed, whether it’s through a celebrity example or through his well-written blog posts.

"I derive my greatest satisfaction in guiding these clients through the process," Daniel says, "educating and advising of them of their rights, advocating and negotiating on their behalf to achieve a fair resolution."

We reached out to Daniel for this LexBlog Q&A to discuss more about how his blog has helped his standing as a divorce attorney and how other social media tools complement his blogging.

See our email exchange with Daniel, after the jump.

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