The Law Writers

Law firm content marketing and writing about the law

A Law Blogger’s Duty to Maintain Client Confidences

Posted in Blogs | Content Marketing | Law Firms

There’s often a wide gap between what we can do and what we should do. The First Amendment is a constitutional pillar of our free and open society, but it also supplies a dangerous invitation to run our mouths on topics that are better kept to ourselves. If you doubt me, try invoking the First Amendment the next time you offend your spouse.

Like marriage, the practice of law is an endeavor where engaging in behavior tolerated by the First Amendment can be dangerous, even unethical. You don’t have to be Aristotle to see the tension between “free speech” and “client confidentiality.”

Persist / 674 words

Lawyers Take Note: FTC Advises Web Hosts to Promote Anti-Phishing Technologies

Posted in Domain Names | Email Newsletters | Privacy and Security

Most law firms moved to secure their websites during the past few years, prodded by bar regulators, who worry that client communications might be intercepted, and marketers, who’ve heard that Google dings websites lacking an SSL certificate.

But have law firms done all they can to protect against phishing attacks?

Law firms and their clients are particularly suspectible to phishing exploits. Just like banks, law firms are trusted entities that handle sensitive financial and personal information. An email purporting to come from an attorney’s domain will prompt at least a few clients to let down their guard.

Among marketers, email authentication is a “best practice” at least. Among law firms, it should be a “must do.”

Go on / 510 words

No Clear Favorite Emerging in Legal Domains Market

Posted in Domain Names | Law Firms

One of my more popular posts was a longish look at domain name registrations by large law firms in the new(ish) .law top-level domain.

A relevant development occurred several weeks ago, when several federal legislators complained that a proposed .cpa top-level domain should not be operated in a manner that allows any member of the public to register a domain name in the .cpa space.

The congressmen, in a letter to the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (PDF), argued that open registration of domain names in the .cpa top-level domain would create an unreasonable risk to the public. They want restrictions in .cpa along the lines of those proposed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, one of several applicants for the .cpa domain. Basically, the legislators want domain name sellers to verify the credentials of registrants in top-level domains associated with regulated industries and to limit registrations to credentialed applicants (licensed doctors in .doctor, licensed lawyers in .lawyer, veterinarians in .vet, et cetera).

ICANN has already rejected this argument — for .cpa and for many other domains targeting other professions and highly regulated industries. So far, so good within the legal profession. Lawyers today can choose among several inexpensively priced domains for use in their marketing campaigns.

Press on / 561 words

Law Blog Post Formats: The “How to” Article

Posted in Blogs | Law Firms | Search Engines

The tenth and last in a series about useful law blog post formats.

The “how to” law blog post is a great way to meet potential clients at the moment they begin researching their legal problem — prior to the selection of legal representation. A “how to” post, well done, builds trust and positions the law firm as a desirable solution provider for the client’s problem.

“How to” posts are also ideal candidates for selection by Google as “Featured Snippets,” those information boxes that Google frequently pins to the top of organic search listings.

Now before you declare, “I am an [incontrovertibly laudable attribute] large firm lawyer, I don’t do ‘how to’ posts” and click away, please hear me out.

Press on / 935 words

Law Blog Post Formats: Analysis and Trendspotting

Posted in Blogs | Law Firms

The ninth in a series about useful law blog post formats.

Several years ago at a party downtown I met a former Capitol Hill staffer who, like me, wrote about government policy for a living.

He was a longtime subscriber to my company’s publications, but he had a complaint, which was essentially this:

“You’re very good at reporting what happened yesterday, not so good at what is happening today, and unfortunately pretty bad at projecting what’s likely to happen tomorrow. That’s what we do.”

Each morning, my new friend read my company’s publications, the “Big Three” newspapers (Wall Street Journal, New York Times, Washington Post), the Federal Register and Congressional Record, a clipping service and a few email newsletters. He went to the Hill when he felt he needed to hear things first-hand, and he spent a lot of time on the phone.

Just like a regular journalist.

Go on / 677 words

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