There are a lot of wars going in the world, right now. There’s the war in Syria. There’s the conflict between Democrats and Republicans that came to a head in the recent election. Perhaps even more pressing, there’s the fight over how much pulp should be in orange juice (try bringing that up in a crowded room. We did. It wasn’t pretty).
But the war we’re concerned with at Myers Freelance is the War Against Legal Blogging, particularly ghostwritten legal blogs. That’s why we’re devoting the next several posts to the issue.
Here, we deal with the basics. They might seem obvious, but before getting involved in the War Against Legal Blogging, they need to be covered. After all, we’re responsible adults: We define our terms.
What is a Legal Blog?
A legal blog is a regularly-updated legal publication that you host on your law firm’s website. It often discusses details of your firm’s practice and persuades readers to hire your firm. It can talk about the nuances of your field, recent developments in it, as well as current events that can impact it. All of this is done for several reasons:
- A legal blog shows readers that you’re a good attorney who stays up to date in your field, showing your expertise and enhancing your reputation and credibility;
- Its blog posts work to inform readers about a specific legal problem, and convince those readers that they should call an attorney if they’re facing one;
- A legal blog can score some serious points on the search engine optimization (SEO) front, enhancing your online prominence and increasing the number of times your law firm’s website gets visited;
- The regular updates in a legal blog provide content for social media.
What is a Ghostwritten Legal Blog?
A ghostwritten legal blog post is an article that is posted on your firm’s website, in its legal blog, but was written by someone who’s not an attorney in the firm. Additionally, the author of a ghostwritten legal blog post does not get credit for writing the article – there is no author byline.
The Controversy Surrounding Ghostwritten Legal Blogs
Because of their largely commercial nature as advertisements, legal blogs are likely commercial speech, in a legal sense. Therefore, the regulations of your state’s rules of professional conduct apply to them.
In the War Against Legal Blogging, some of those who are fighting against legal blogging think that ghostwritten legal blogs violate the rules of professional conduct. Generally, they point to Rule 7.1 and Rule 8.4(c) in the Model Rules of Professional Conduct. Others just think the practice is wrong.
Neither is true. And we’re going to tell you exactly why.
Myers Freelance: The Professional Legal Bloggers
In the War Against Legal Blogging, Myers Freelance has planted its flag firmly in support of the practice. But of course we would – we write some of the best on the web. Contact us online to get one started on your firm’s site.