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The Risks of Legal Blogging on Your Own

risk of legal blogging
Photo credit: Derek Gavey

You’re an attorney. You know that the law is everywhere you look, regulating things in minute ways that are often overlooked. However, with your legal education, training, and practice, you’re confident that whatever legal issues you run up against are no match for your research skills.

With that said, though, you’re also in the business of practicing law. You know that there are times when it makes financial sense to delegate an important task to someone who works and makes a living in that particular field. You’re an attorney, and you want to focus on practicing law.

This is why hiring professional legal bloggers is so important. Legal advertising is a minefield of potential legal liabilities. Going it on your own can be disastrous, and lead to a mistake that is not only costly for your practice, but also embarrassing for your reputation.

Here are just a couple of the legal hurdles that can trip you up.

Copyright Laws

Whenever you host content on your law firm’s website – whether in the form of a blog or a landing page or your home page – you’re signaling to others that it’s your content. If it isn’t, you could find yourself in the hot seat. Writers, photographers, and other artists monitor their works online to make sure other people aren’t using their materials without paying. Infringing on someone’s copyright is costly and, maybe even worse, very easy to do by mistake.

Additionally, infringing on someone else’s copyright can drastically impact your advertising success online, as search engines penalize sites that are accused of infringing a copyright.

Legal Ethics and Rules of Professional Conduct

Another serious obstacle in legal advertising is complying with the rules of professional conduct in your state.

One issue is refraining from offering legal advice in your blog. There’s a knife’s edge that you have to walk, whenever you want to talk about the newest development in your field of law. You want to sound knowledgeable and well-read, but you also can’t give a definitive statement about a particular case. Offering legal advice without creating an attorney-client relationship can lead to serious legal issues.

Additionally, there are several aspects of your state’s rules of professional conduct that you need to comply with, should you venture into the world of legal blogging. Most states have rules of professional conduct based on the ABA’s model code. In this model code, there are several provisions that can easily become implicated when you write a legal blog:

  • Rule 7.1, which prohibits lawyers from making “false or misleading communication[s]” about their legal services;
  • Rule 7.2, which regulates how lawyers are allowed to advertise;
  • Rule 7.4, which specifies when lawyers are allowed to claim an area of expertise; and
  • Rule 8.4(c), which prohibits lawyers from engaging in “dishonesty, fraud, deceit or misrepresentation.”

Myers Freelance Legal Blogging

These waters are dangerous to tread into if you don’t have experience writing legal blogs. That’s where the legal blogging professionals at Myers Freelance come into play. By helping numerous other attorney clients get the name of their firm out there and attract clients through online advertising, Myers Freelance has become adept at managing legal blogs, steering them around pitfalls of liability and into online prominence. Contact us online today.