Human Law

I've just noticed, thanks to Nick Holmes' What's New on the UK Legal Web, that there's a new UK legal blog in town called Human Law by a chap called Justin Patten.  As Nick puts it:

The blog covers IP, IT and Employment law as does the work of his firm Human Law, which "provides cost effective solutions to clients on key legal issues facing the digital economy".

If you click on the Human Law website, you'll find what seems to be a flash forex trading in dubai driven website which, be warned, pumps out a portion of a track by The Shaman called "Hear Me" (you have to be familiar with The Shaman to know that!)  As far as I can recall, this is the first legal website I've seen to greet its readers with music... .  Fine by me, but then again, I like The Shaman.

"Blawg Proponent Recognized With Innovation Award" (Bill Gratsch)

I won't paraphrase Bill's interesting post on a large law firm Chief Knowledge Officer's rumoured award for  legal innovation through implementation of a series of blogs.  Well, I kind of already have, but this is interesting and pretty significant news I reckon.  Thanks for the news Bill.

OUT-LAW RSS feeds (UK)

Thanks to Nick Holmes' What's New on the UK Legal Web, I've learned that Out-law.com, an IT and ecommerce site by international law firm Pinsent Masons, has set up a number of RSS feeds together with a helpfully brief and pragmatic explanation of what RSS feeds are and how to subscribe to them. You can find the feeds here.  Oh, and their feeds are user friendly too - more akin to the Feedburner variety than raw code. A sign of things to come.

Welcome to lawfirmblogging.com

There's a new blog out there on legal blogging called, appropriately, lawfirmblogging.com. The more the merrier. Looks like it's off to a good and helpful start. I'm interested to see to what topics its author, Nathan Burke, will turn next.

Weblogs Work's Interview Series with Lawyer Bloggers

Weblog Works has conducted a series of interviews with lawyer bloggers, asking them:

  • When and why did you start a blog?
  • Have you generated additional legal business directly or indirectly related to your blog?
  • Have any of your peers seen your blog? Do they comment on it? Does the fact that they read it cause you to write differently?

The bloggers have given some interesting answers to these questions. The question which is perhaps most on the lips of those contemplating legal blogging is the second question, namely, whether the blog has generated any additional legal business. A year or so ago, around the time that LexBlog was getting up and running, there was some vociferous debate on this issue. It was a debate which, to my mind, was a bit over the top, because blogs were adding a new bow to one's marketing strategies, not replacing everything that had come before. It's for this reason that I think Francis Pileggi's (of Fox Rothschild LLP) answer to this question is or probably would be accurate for many legal bloggers who deliver quality information through their blogs:

"The measurement is not precise , but I have had clients indicate that they have seen my blog. It may be similar to writing articles in that it may not be the only thing that makes their decision, but it is part of the mix."

Of course, there are some blogs which are indeed the source of new business or which at least are particularly image-enhancing. So, for example, Clark Allison's answer to this question was this:

"Yes. It has greatly added to my credibility and bone fides with potential clients, existing clients and referral sources. As an example, several weeks ago an investment advisor who has referred many clients over the years emailed me about a recent court decision that appeared to have a chilling effect on planning strategies he often uses. Instead of calling or emailing him, I blogged on the issue and then sent him and other financial advisors I know a link to my post. The effect was great: I was able to answer my referral sources concern directly, leverage my research time to educate many and enhance my stature as an expert on the topic."

NIPCLAW - First UK Barrister's Blog?

Thanks to Scott Vine's Information Overlord, I've learned that there's a new IP and technology blog on the English side of the Atlantic called NIPCLAW.  Written by barrister John Lambert, the blog "contains news and comment on English, European and overseas intellectual property,technology, media and entertainment and competition law" and "is intended to update and supplement his chambers websites at www.nipclaw.com and www.ipit-update.com."  What strikes me about this blog is that it's written by a barrister (rather than solicitor(s)), making it the first UK barrister's blog I've seen.  Will be interesting to see if other barristers follow suit, as the recent relaxation in certain sectors allowing public access directly to barristers (rather than via solicitors) is likely to result in more public-facing marketing initiatives by barristers than was previously the case.

Naked Law enters webspace

UK-based Naked Law has recently entered webspace.  Thanks to Joy London/Excited Utterances for letting us know about this one.  Naked Law's tagline is "UK technology law laid bare by Cambridge lawyers".  I suspect those wishing to keep tabs on UK technology law issues will want to add this blog's feed to their aggregators.

Update:  Seems I posted this too fast.  I should have mentioned that the original tip came from Nick Holmes' What's New on the UK Legal Web.  Many thanks Nick. 

"The Future of Legal Blogging"

The ABA has published  Between Lawyers Roundtable: The Future of Legal Blogging, a good summary of the discussion that occurred recently at Between Lawyers.  It covers these questions:

  • What is the current landscape for legal blogging?
  • What are the three biggest benefits of blogging for lawyers?
  • Should every lawyer and law firm have a blog?
  • Do you think blogging is overhyped?
  • What makes a legal blog successful or unsuccessful?
  • Let’s expand on some earlier thoughts about what will be more important in the future. Will it be RSS, blogs or collaborations among bloggers?
  • Will you be blogging in five years?
  • How, if at all, will blogging change the practice of law?
  • Ernie, Do You Want to Wrap Up This Discussion for Us?

Those contemplating getting into legal blogging can learn quite a bit from this discussion.  Very helpful.

Bill Gratsch on the frequency of blog posting

In a recent post entitled As Blawgs Evolve, 21st Century Nutshells? Bill Gratsch, of Blawg.org fame, makes this particularly valid remark when discussing the issue of the frequency of blawg updating:

"... On the other hand, a handful of two-year-old posts from a law professor or other legal expert who offered thoughtful, learned analysis of a key court case may be worth linking to for many years after the fact. The mere fact that the blawg containing the analysis has not been updated in a long period of time, does not necessarily mean it has no value. In fact, if the analysis is particularly well-stated, I would argue that it should continue to be referenced via links indefinitely. Deleting the blawg would only serve to eliminate the analysis from the larger discourse on the matter it covered."

I agree. As a quality-filled blog is updated, the better its repository of information, its database, becomes. But not updating it 3 or 4 times a week doesn't necessarily mean it's not a valuable resource or somehow necessarily inferior to blogs which are more regularly updated. It's that good old quality versus quantity issue.

Electronic Frontier Foundation's Legal Guide for Bloggers

As noted by, among others, the Blog Herald, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has released an excellent looking Legal Guide for Bloggers. It contains a useful set of FAQs on various topics, including IP issues, online defamation issues, privacy, reporters' privilege, media access, election law and labor law, all from a US perspective.  Well worth a peek for those not familiar with or wishing to double check the various legal issues to which blogging gives rise.

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