Who are the 'legal eagles' of law blogging? Who dominates the law blog scene? What are the 100 most influential legal blogs?
The world of lawyers loves a ranking; top lawyer listings are a staple of the industry. Unfortunately, as the ranking published by the Business Insider points out, the methods used are questionable at best:
This ranking is subjective. Business Insider ranked the blogs based on which blogs we read the most frequently to stay on top of the day’s legal news.
Methodology matters because…
That these rankings matter is obvious. One just needs to read how often bloggers – i.e. lawyers – mention them when they place at or close to the top.
But rankings are based on ratings. How we rate a blog and its content matters. Unfortunately, it is being done very sloppily. This then results in criticism, such as:
“That’s just one of the never-ending legion of phony awards offered lawyers to put on their walls for clients foolish enough to believe that it makes one a better lawyer…” Scott H. Greenfield – Simple Justice
The American Bar Association has published a top law blog ranking with its ABA Journal, but it is at best a subjective popularity contest, becaus it is based on:
1. a pre-selection of blogs by the editorial team (i.e. subjective), which is then
2. voted on by readers (i.e. popularity).
In this case, the assumption is that editors will know whom to pre-select and, most importantly, the crowd knows best. But what criteria are used?
Avvo uses a similar approach. It is also based on visitor traffic that excludes any mobile users or those using business PCs to surf.
Others develop a research methodology that is apparently unique. Reuters got a patent for a selection process for determining the top lawyers = US Pat. No. 8412564. It basically protects a methodology that anybody can follow using pen and paper (see Bob Ambrogi for a critique).
It follows that any researcher should get a patent for their research methodology. Makes no sense, does it?
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But if a tool is not to be trusted, why should I use it to rank 30 blogs? Moreover, does such an inaccurate tool warrant calling one’s results a benchmark? Does this criterion for ranking blogs even warrant the label ‘benchmark’? The Am Law report thinks so (PDF file, 760 KB download).
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Here is a list of these lawyer blogs. Is yours missing? Add a comment below and we will ensure it gets included within 48 hours.
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Ranking blogs and putting together benchmarks for clients has taught us a few things. Primarily, how one can improve a corporate blog.
When you want to improve your law firm’s blog, please consider these three tips.
1. Conversation and dialog is key
Blogs give your readers, such as clients, the chance to join the conversation. They can take the time and leave a thoughtful comment.
Hence, having many blogs for your practice (e.g., DLA Piper) is great, but disabling the reader comment function is unfortunate. It is neither Web 2.0 nor would it suggest you want to hear what your potential clients have to say about things.
Honestly, is this the message DLA Piper wants to give its clients?
2. Make it easy for your target audience
So you have decided to have 10, 20 or even 30 blogs for your various fields of expertise. Congratulations! And yes, please strut your stuff by writing great content for these blogs.
Nevertheless, Baker & McKenzie needs to give me an easy way to find these blogs. How about a page listing all blogs? Otherwise I have to hunt on my mobile to find the blog that interests me – talk about a needless battery drain!
Do you value your clients’ time so much that you let them waste it on finding your valuable content?
3. Long tail matters
So your blogger team left and went to another firm.
Yes, closing a blog down is unfortunate. Worst is if you fail to communicate why you shut a blog down. Showing a reader an empty page (e.g., “This blog has been taken offline…”) is not the right way to do it.
Seriously, why take your blog offline? Did the experts at Norton Rose Fulbright LLP no longer have anything interesting to say? Impossible, right?
What is your favourite blog?
Please let us know in a comment below and provide the blog’s URL. We will gladly add it to our database.
– Which lawyer blog is your favourite?
– Which blog do you read regularly and why?
By the way, if you leave a comment with a link to your lawyer blog, you’ll get your personalised DrKPI benchmark report free via email!
Have a question? Ask it below and I will answer it personally, guaranteed. I love feedback.
Declaration of conflicting interests: The author declares that he has no conflicts of interest with respect to his authorship or the publication of this DrKPI Benchmark article.