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.

Holmes and Venables "Whither the Legal Web?"

Those interested in the world of legal publishing, whether by third party publishers or via new technologies such as blogging and RSS, may be interested in a new electronic publication called Whither the Legal Web?, a set of articles written and/or edited by UK based Nick Holmes and Delia VenablesWhither the Legal Web? consists of two parts, the first on Legal Information, the second (to published in or around September) on Legal Practice.

I have had the opportunity to review Part 1 and was interested in some of the articles it contains.  It contains 5 chapters on the following topics:  (1) The Law, (2) Government, Parliament and Justice, (3) Scotland and Wales, (4) Legal Information Services, and (5) The Web.  Each chapter contains a number of articles. 

To me, the most interesting chapters are 1 and 5, on The Law and The Web respectively (others will doubtless have their own "most interesting" chapters). Chapter 1 contains these articles:

  • "Towards more accessible law" by Nick Holmes 
  • "The vision for BAILII" by Sir Henry Brooke 
  • "Current developments on BAILII" by Joe Ury 
  • "Freeing the law in Ireland" by Dr John Mee 
  • "Global legal research: WorldLII and the long-term vision" by Prof Graham Greenleaf 
  • "The Statute Law Database" by Nick Holmes 
  • "EU law and the Europa site" by Sue Pettit 

Chapter 5 contains these articles:

  • "The core web technologies" by Nick Holmes 
  • "The blogging phenomenon" by Nick Holmes 
  • "A blogging case study: the IPKat" by Jeremy Phillips and Ilanah Simon
  • "Webfeeds: pulling the news that matters" by Nick Holmes
  • "Wikis: wacky or wonderful?" by Nick Holmes 

Those familiar with the world of legal publishing will be familiar with some of the content, but in all likelihood there is content with which readers will not be familiar.  For example, the chapter on BAILII (the British and Irish Legal Information Institute) by Sir Henry Brooke makes for an interesting read. And those wanting an introduction, from a legal perspective, to blogging, webfeeds and wikis will probably find the articles in chapter 5 a worthwhile read.  The 2 page case study on the blog "IPKat" is also interesting (those who follow the IPKat will know that its two authors are prolific bloggers). 

As an aside, the authors of the IPKat case study make the statement that "you can't make money out of blogging".  I wonder whether, at least in the future, such a statement may need to be qualified.  Were it not for the IPKat, I would not have heard of its lawyer authors.  In a competitive legal market, their names are now in my mind when otherwise they would not have been;  their blogging efforts have generated some mindshare, which I would have thought is itself a valuable commodity (generally speaking that is, not in respect of a share in my mind!), and one which ultimately could generate financial reward, either through direct instructions or referrals.  It's early days for such talk because the corporate world has not yet fully awoken to blogging and RSS feed technology;  let's see what happens when it does.

To close, Whither the Legal Web? contains a timely and interesting set of articles.  My thanks to Nick Holmes and Delia Venables for the opportunity to review it.

Sacramento Estate and Business Planning Law Blog

If I were given a dollar for every time I've referred to LexBlog's blogs, I'd be enjoying some decent coffees on the house.  No free cappucinos round here, but I see Kevin has been busy updating his portfolio, as a result of which I've stumbled across the Sacramento Estate and Business Planning Law Blog.  I don't want to wax lyrical about this, suffice to say that when you load up this blog on an iMac G5 you're presented with a site that's a beauty to behold.  Seriously.  See for yourself.

Ben Cowgill's Legal Ethics Blog

I just had the pleasure of taking a peek at Ben Cowgill's Legal Ethics Blog.  Not only does it appear to be packed with interesting and well-crafted content (if I may say), but it has a great design, all within the framework of a Typepad blog.  What Ben has done will, I'm sure, be of interest not only to legal bloggers and those interested in legal ethics, but to a whole heap of people who use Typepad. 

LexBlog just keeps on rolling out great-looking legal blogs

Just checked out Kevin O'Keefe's blog thanks to Typepad's trackback feature and noticed that LexBlog has surreptitiously added some great new legal blogs to its stable that until now I hadn't noticed:

I don't want to sound like a record stuck in a groove (I guess that expression is on its way out...), but these are great looking blogs/legal blogs/blawgs - call them what you will.  This little blog's shade of green is getting more pronounced.

New LexBlog blogs hatched

For those who haven't seen them yet, there's a new batch of LexBlog blogs in town:

South Carolina Trial Law Blog

Arizona Family Law Blog

LawBiz Blog

The Legal Marketing Blog

Nice work.

The Wired GC

For those who haven't yet come across it, an interesting new legal blog has hit the blogosphere: The Wired GC. The Wired GC "is published by a general counsel in the Midwestern United States" and one of its author's stated goals "is to recognize law firms that are moving beyond traditional ways of thinking about the law and the delivery of legal services."  The Wired GC has already posted some thought-provoking entries. Check out, for example, The Clients are Revolting and Weblogs and Legal Innovation.

This blog is of interest not only for its thoughtful entries (and tasteful design using a Kubrick template for Wordpress), but also for the fact that it's written by a general counsel who is obviously interested in innovation in the delivery of legal services.  Blogs are clearly an effective way for general counsel to voice their calls for innovation.  The Wired GC is providing just such a voice.   

Feedmelegal looks forward to reading more from The Wired GC.

Increased probing into law firm blogs?

There seems to be a subtle but noticeable trend arising in the blogosphere: people are seeing corporates (including some big name corporates) and individual lawyers (for example) getting into blogging and RSS, but with a few notable exceptions they're not seeing it on the part of that many law firms and they're wondering why that is. See, for example, Prism Legal Consulting's post Large Law Firm Blogs - Update and Blawg.org's post Wall Street - Weblogs and Syndication and Making Money.

Law firms who have considered or are considering this newish technology may have understandable reasons for treading carefully.  Some, no doubt, want to make sure they "get it right" the first time round. Whatever the case, feedmelegal is content to share in Prism's prediction that there will be significantly more law-firm-branded blogs in 2005.

From blog to New York Times

LexBlog founder Kevin O'Keefe has posted an interesting piece over at Real Lawyers Have Blogs on how a solo practitioner's legal blog has jettisoned him into the minds of that handful of people who read the New York Times.

Believe the hype. Being quoted on your area of expertise in a paper like the New York Times is, well, a big deal!

More large law firm blogs on their way...

Anyone who follows Joy London's excellent Excited Utterances blog will probably know that Ron of Prism Legal Consulting has been asking about the existence of blogs within large law firms.  When one digs a little deeper into the comments on both blogs, two interesting points emerge:

  • Not only does the Swedish office of Linklaters have RSS feeds (as noted in an earlier post), but they "have been playing around a while with blogs" but have not yet found a format with which they are comfortable for an external launch (suggesting that ultimately we will indeed see blogs from this large firm).
  • The Am Law 100 firm Sheppard Mullin is in the process of "replacing several of [its] marketing newsletters with blogs", LexBlog-designed blogs to be precise.  A member of the firm says in one comment that they "are about to launch a blog for [their] anti-trust and labor groups, with more coming."

Very interesting.  Looking forward to seeing these blogs as they slip into the internet's ether.

Kirkland & Ellis LLP's research services experts are blogging

Kirkland & Ellis LLP is a large and respected US grown provider of legal services. Guess what?  Its research services people (or perhaps one or some of them) have set up a blog using Blogger, called KERBlog!, on "research tips, tools, and enlightened insights". The blog has a link to Kirkland & Ellis LLP's main website and clearly identifies itself with the firm.  An interesting development and an interesting looking blog.  Looking forward to seeing it develop.

"Join the Blawg Bandwagon"

For those who haven't yet seen it, the American Bar Association is running a piece entitled Join the Blawg Bandwagon which introduces law students to the world of legal blogging, explains some of the uses and benefits of blogging and gives some tips on how to set up a blog.

Continue reading ""Join the Blawg Bandwagon"" »

There are some new LexBlog blogs in town

Check 'em out: 

Electronic Discovery Law

Construction Labor Law Blog

Excited Utterances hits LegalIT

For those who haven't yet heard, Joy London of Excited Utterances fame has hit the well-reputed online publication LegalIT (a part of London-based Legal Week Global Media) with an interesting article on lawyers and blogging entitled Blogging with Lawyers.  Great to see articles about the benefits of blogging for lawyers springing up on both sides of the Atlantic. 

Weblogs for newly qualified lawyers?

The American Bar Association has posted an article entitled Stop Reinventing the Wheel: Develop a Personal Knowledge Bank Instead for young lawyers just starting out in practice.

Continue reading "Weblogs for newly qualified lawyers?" »

Legal weblogs/webfeeds: Which international law firm will deploy first?

An admittedly superficial trawl of the blogosphere suggests that legal blogs have taken off faster in the United States than in Europe (or at least English speaking Europe). For example, there are undoubtedly many, many more legal blogs in the United States than in the United Kingdom. No surprises there. But as far as feedmelegal is aware, neither nation houses an international law firm which has deployed client-facing weblogs or webfeeds (or at least publicly accessible ones).

Continue reading "Legal weblogs/webfeeds: Which international law firm will deploy first?" »

Weblogs: A primer for lawyers

It would be somewhat remiss for a blog about webfeeds, weblogs and the legal profession not to have a primer on what weblogs are and how lawyers can put them to good use. This post attempts to provide just such a primer.

Continue reading "Weblogs: A primer for lawyers" »

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