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.”
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.
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.
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.
The eighth in a series about useful law blog post formats.
The creation of a regular weekly feature article is a good way to boost productivity among the law firm’s blog-writing team — and stimulate reader interest as well.
Regular features promote editorial planning by giving everyone a clear target to shoot for each week and they calm the “What can we put on the blog today?” stress that often attends regular care and feeding the of law blog beast.
A law firm that runs a regular feature is not hostage to the day’s events or, worse, the day’s lack of bloggable events.
Finally, a regular feature article is a clearly defined bit of editorial content that can be delegated and managed by the firm’s marketing department.