Blawgs (lawyers and blogs)

I'll post the comment here that I sent to roughtype. 

Last week some of the heavyweights of the blogsphere (Carr, Israel, Scobe, Vogels and so on) debated the merits of the corporate blog, and whether lawyers should be involved or not.

I'd like to take issue with Israel's comments:  "For [the] record, your advice on calling in the lawyers is lame and a sure-fire to make the blogs as lame as your idea." 

I think he is talking to the wrong lawyers.

The blogsphere is now home to a thriving community of lawyers and people interested in law that make use of blogs  for the same reasons that non-lawyers do. there is a term to describe these law blogs. (Blawg) there is even a tee-shirt, presumably not for wear in court.

Innovative lawyers use podcasts and blogs to communicate with their clients and prospects. Some examples, and there are many more. See Human Law for podcast use. nakedlaw provides commentary on new cases and trends.  IPKat is an excellent source for patent, copyright and other IP issues and commentary. Law professor commentary is not currently precedent, but useful reading nevertheless. Blogs are really helping to inform about the law, especially information technology related law.  Susskind's talk here on the future of law is well worth a listen.

Contrary to common wisdom, some lawyers are very humourous. Geeklawyer is one of the funniest blogs I've come across. I'll try and call him if I ever get into trouble for my blog. Geeklawyer is the Rumpole of the the web.

Despite the dangers of "corporate" blogging, it seems that savvy lawyers themselves see these risks as acceptable. The blog is changing the way law is marketed, and the way legal information is spread.  Working with a lawyer that understands the risks of  the blog, while grasping its business benefits is surely the sensible way forward.

Lawyer bashing is an easy sport. Like it or not, the law permeates much of what we do, corporate or otherwise.

Employees are going to blog anyway, so understanding what they are upto and why is basic risk management and common sense.  As Lydon Johnson commented about Edgar Hoover,

"It's probably better to have him inside the tent pissing out, than outside the tent pissing in."

Imagine his blog.

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