Every day there are new trending topics on the internet. From sports to business and everything in between, often the best source to find additional information is a blog post. Perhaps to the surprise of some, blogs are fast becoming a very useful tool for both lawyers and clients. In this blog, pardon the irony, I will outline a few benefits for each of these groups.
Why should a lawyer blog?
To answer this question, I spoke with Harrison Pensa LLP lawyer David Canton, known both within and outside of the firm as a prolific blogger. David provided two major reasons why he and other lawyers engage in this practice: “Networking and building credibility.”
From the networking perspective, the benefits are clear. By having an online presence in a technologically driven society, clients can more easily reach out to a lawyer. For example, when new legislation is about to be rolled out and a client wants to know how that law may affect their business, a blog can be a great conduit. When the client uncovers a lawyer’s blog on the subject, a connection is made. This process also lends itself to other professionals who may be able to use the blog in their own work. If a lawyer were to write a blog on new tax deductions being proposed, an accountant may be the first to call and could end up referring clients.
But beyond simply expanding the lawyer’s network, a blog helps build the lawyer’s credibility. As David Canton notes, “When dealing in a niche area of law, a blog can instantly show that you have familiarity with a topic.” Consequently, some lawyers will actively follow parliamentary debates on legislation and measure potential impacts while others will follow a Supreme Court case and try to predict the verdict’s influence on their area of practice. These types of in-depth examinations of issues lend themselves to credibility. If you are already well-versed on a subject it can’t hurt to share your knowledge.
Why should a client read a blog?
For the client, there are numerous reasons why reading a lawyer’s blog can be advantageous. One of these reasons is diligence. If a client is deciding whether or not to call a lawyer, an excellent way to help make that decision is to look into their previous work. Often, by reading a blog, the client may be able to deduce what level of familiarity the lawyer has with the subject at hand. This is particularly useful for sophisticated clients.
Another obvious reason a client should read a lawyer’s blog is to get what David Canton calls the “5000 foot view”. If a lawyer has gone through substantial legal analysis on an issue such as drafting employment contracts, it would be prudent for a potential client to review such a blog before contacting the lawyer. This allows the client to get a better understanding of the issues at stake and could even allow them to narrow their questions about employment contracts when they meet with the lawyer. In short, blogging can help to maximize both the lawyer’s and the client’s time.
The majority of Twitter, Facebook and Instagram users would likely confess to uncovering news, world events and other information on one of those platforms and then “googling” it to find out more. I suggest that if that issue you are examining involves the law, check out legal blogs as well. Whether you are a client or a lawyer, blogging is a tool that should be utilized. Maybe even write your own as we do at Harrison Pensa.
Logan Burnett is a graduate from the University of Ottawa law program. Prior to law school, Logan graduated concurrently with an HBA from the Ivey Business School and a BA in political science from Western University. Connect with Logan on LinkedIn.