Blog Proud v. Blog Tolerant - How Are Big Firms Presenting Their Blogs?

Well, the visits to 3 Geeks and a Law Blog shot into the stratosphere this week with our posting of Monday's List of Large Law Firm's "Officially Sanctioned Blogs". With help from the ABA Journal Online and Above the Law, we've had thousands (yes, thousands!) of visits to what we believe to be the best Legal Blog covering Technology, SEO, Competitive Intelligence, and Law Library issues on the web.
In part II of our study on Big Law Firm Blogs, we wanted to see how it "appears" to the casual viewer on what the firms actually think of their attorneys' blogs. As we stated in part I, the firms that had blogs tended to fall into two camps:
  1. Blog-Proud: These firms actually make it very easy to find their attorney's blogs. Either by putting it in the "publications" section of their web page, or listing it in some other very visible portion of the blog.
  2. Blog-Tolerant: These firms look like they would rather bury the attorney's blogs and not have anyone view them. Perhaps that really isn't the case, but if the only place you can find a mention of an attorney's blog is by finding the specific attorney and then searching for the term "blog" or "blawg", then it sure seems to be something that the firm isn't very proud of.
I'm going to go through the list alphabetically, and give my personal observation of whether a firm is "Blog-Proud" or "Blog-Tolerant". But first, let me share a little bit of my methodology with you, so that when you say to yourself "what an idiot for missing this popular blog", you'll at least know why I missed it. I have literally gone through each of the websites for the NLJ 250 to see if they list their Blogs somewhere on the site. I start by browsing the Home Pages and the Publication pages. I'll skim the Practice Group page list to see if it is listed there, but if it isn't obvious, I assume it isn't there. The last process I do before giving up is to search the web site using the firm's search tool (or Google if the firm doesn't have a search tool.) I find a lot that way, but it isn't a perfect research method, so I may have missed some, too. So, if I did miss some, kindly let me know and I'll correct that portion of the list as needed.
So, here we go:

Akin Gump Blog-Tolerant The blogs were so hidden that I missed some of the most well-know blogs out there. I even got comments from people that thought I was "absurd" for not listing them. When in truth, the blogs were very, very difficult to find.

Alston Bird Blog-Proud Blogs were easily found on the Home Page under “Resources”

Arnold & Porter Blog-Tolerant Had to search to find the blog listed under the Consumer Protection and Advertising page

Baker & Daniels Blog-Tolerant I needed to find an old press release in order to uncover the Benefitsbiz Blog. The B&D Consulting link came from a comment.

Baker Hostetler Blog-Tolerant This blog was mentioned on Paul G. Karlsgodt’s bio page. I had to use the search option and then skim through the results to find it.

Balch & Bingham Blog-Proud Found it very easily under the “News, Events & Publications” drop-down menu. Took me straight to the blog.

Bracewell & Giuliani Blog-Proud Listed right under the “Highlights” portion of the home page. In fact, somehow I missed their Financial Industry Task Force Blog the first time I visited the page. I’ve since added it to the list.

Butzel Long Blog-Tolerant Had to search for the blog and found it under Christopher B. Hopkins’ Bio page.

Carlton Fields Blog-Proud Class Action Blog Logo listed right smack-dab on the home page.

Cooley Godward Blog-Tolerant The blog was listed under the Practice Group page rather than under the publications tab. Again, I had to search for the blog and weed through the results to find it.

Davis Wright Tremaine Blog-Proud No problem finding the blogs here. Found it easily under the aptly named “News, Blogs & Awards” Section on the firm’s home page.

Dechert Blog-Tolerant With Dechert, I actually had to do a Google search using “Blog” site:dechert.com to find the results as the firm doesn’t seem to even have a search tool for its own site.

Dewey & LeBoeuf Blog-Tolerant To find the blogs from Dewey, you have to search the site, and then go through the bios in order to find them. Michael C. Dorf and Lyle Roberts blogs were not easily found, which is too bad.

Dorsey & Whitney Blog-Tolerant Dorsey surprised me because I hear they are launching some new blogs in the near future. At this time, however, you have to search and find Roy A. Ginsburg’s bio to find the existing blog.

Edwards Angell Blog-Proud The blog was pretty easily found under the Newstand link on the home page. Listed in the types of publications was a “Blog” list.

Foley Hoag Blog-Proud Very Blog-Proud in fact. Big and bold under the firms “News & Resources” link there is a “Blog” Section all to itself.

Fox Rothschild Blog-Proud Fox Rothschild puts its link to the Blog section right on the home page, top-center. This is one of the easiest blogs to find out of all the firms listed.

Frost Brown Todd Blog-Proud Just like Fox Rothschild, Frost Brown Todd puts the blog information right on the home page with a link in the “Resources” drop-down. Very Blog-Proud.

Holland & Hart Blog-Proud H&H also list their blogs on the home page under the “In Focus” area.

Howrey Blog-Proud Howrey lists its blog directly under the “Resources” drop-down list. Very easy to find.

Hughes Hubbard Blog-Tolerant In order to find the blog on Hughes Hubbard, you have to search for blogs and sift through the results to find the blog.

Ice Miller Blog-Proud Ice Miller’s blogs are listed directly on the home page.

Jackson Walker Blog-Tolerant Jackson Walker really surprised me that they promote their Twitter micro-blog, but make it difficult to find their “macro”-blog.

Jeffer Mangels Butler & Marmaro Blog-Proud Jeffer Mangels lists their blogs on their “News/Blogs” section of their home page.

Jones Day Blog-Tolerant The blog that is linked to one of their partners, isn’t even linked on the page that it is listed. Seriously blog-tolerant.

K&L Gates Blog-Tolerant In order to find the list of blogs, you have to find the RSS feed option then backtrack to the blogs themselves.

Lathrop & Gage Blog-Proud Lathrop & Gage posts a large icon linking directly to their blog directly on their home page.

Lindquist & Vennum Blog-Proud Lindquist lists the blog on the home page under the Practice Groups News. I’m afraid that once it falls off the news section, it will be hard to find.

Luce Forward Blog-Tolerant This was another firm that buried the link to the blog in the attorney’s bio. This time I had to search until I found Eric L. Lane’s bio to find the blog link.

McGlinchey Stafford Blog-Proud McGlinchey lists the blog in two places on its home page. Once under the News\Resources drop-down, and again as an icon at the bottom of the page.

McKenna Long Blog-Tolerant The blog is not easily found, which is a shame (since I’ve been researching RFID for years.) To find, you must search and dive into the results.

Morrison Foerster Blog-Tolerant Buried deep on David M. Lynn’s bio page. Search and sift.

Nixon Peabody Blog-Proud Nixon Peabody is attempting a full-blown Web 2.0 experience. Listed prominently on the top of the home page. Very Proud!

Pepper Hamilton Blog-Tolerant You have to search and go through the Practice Group page to find this blog.

Perkins Coie Blog-Proud While not listed prominently on the home page, the blog is easily found on the News\Publication page.

Porter Wright Blog-Tolerant Although the blog was announced in a press release, once the release drifted off the headlines, it made it difficult to find.

Powell Goldstein Blog-Tolerant PoGo hid this blog on Robert Clifton Burns bio.

Proskauer Rose Blog-Proud Loud and Proud right on the home page. Somehow it was in such plain sight, that I missed one of them.

Quarles & Brady Blog-Tolerant Another “search and sift” firm.

Reed Smith Blog-Proud Although not listed directly on the home page, it is easily found on the Publication page.

Reinhart Blog-Tolerant You’ll need to search to find this one.

Saul Ewing Blog-Proud Found on the Publications page.

Sheppard Mullin Blog-Proud The Blog link is listed right at the top of the home page.

Shook Hardy & Bacon Blog-Tolerant I had to search and then read through Kevin Underhill’s bio to find this blog mentioned.

Sonnenschein Blog-Tolerant This one was listed on the Practice Group page, but not very easily discoverable if you don’t know exactly what you’re looking for.

Stoel Rives Blog-Proud Easily found on the home page tool bar as “BLOGS”.

Strasburger & Price Blog-Proud Not directly listed on the home page, but easily found under the Publications and Presentations page.

Sutherland Asbill & Brennan Blog-Tolerant I needed to search until I found the Practice Group page to find this blog listed.

The Cochran Firm Blog-Proud Listed directly on the home page.

Thompson & Knight Blog-Proud Easily found on the home page under the Publications drop-down.

Waller Lansden Blog-Proud Listed directly on the home page as “Visit Our Blogs”. Not much easier than that.

Williams Mullen Blog-Proud Blog link is placed at the top of the home page. Although it could be a little bit bigger, it is still front and center.

WilmerHale Blog-Tolerant You have to search for these blogs. And, the results seem weird because these are recruiting blogs, not legal topic blogs.

Winstead PC Blog-Proud I’m giving Winstead a pass here because they have a press release on the home page announcing the start of this blog. I hope they continue to keep it listed where people can easily find it.

Womble Carlyle Blog-Proud Womble displays the link to the blog section prominently on the home page.

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Bruce Carton said...

Keep in mind that sometimes it is the lawyer not the firm making that decision. If you ingrain your blog to much with the law firm it becomes hard to take it with you when you leave....

p.s. The right side of the chart with your comments is cut off.

Graet job,

Greg Lambert said...

Thanks Bruce. You hit on one of my upcoming posts on the topic of what are the pros and cons of having an officially sanctioned blog. There have been some good comments on the freedom that a personal blog gives you to post without having to clear it with those in Marketing, or within your Practice group.

As for the table. I'm trying to fix that. It worked great in IE and Chrome, but FireFox is giving me some "issues."

Greg Lambert said...

FireFox just wouldn't take the table I created in Excel or Word, so I just jettisoned the idea of a table altogether and went with just plain text.

missinformation said...

This is great!

Would be possible to get a summary of the % of the total that you interpret to be tolerant vs % proud?

Also, do you have any data that would indicate whether a firm that is proud of their blogs has more blogging going on than a firm that merely tolerates lawyer blogs?

Thanks for the great information!

Greg Lambert said...

MissInformation: Here's a quick rundown of the stats:
A. 55 out of 250 (22%) Firms have blogs
B. 25 of the 55 (45%) Were "Blog-Tolerant"
C. 30 of the 55 (55%) Were "Blog-Proud"

NOTE: My methods wouldn't stand up to the statistical methods used by a true statistician, and are simply what I interpreted from my going to each of the 250 firm's websites and attempting to find the blogs related to the firm. So, although I'm extremely satisfied with what I've pulled together, if you're looking for a pure list of blogs and could care less if the firm is supporting (or taking ownership) of them, then Kevin O'Keefe's List of AmLaw 200 Firm Blogs would be the list you'd want to see. Kevin also has some nice graphs that break down the different blogs.

Doug Cornelius said...

Greg -

It seems there needs to be a third category for firms with bloggers that are not linked to the firm. "Blog intolerant"?

Perhaps you know one that could be on the list?

Greg Lambert said...


Not a bad idea. It would be interesting to take this list and compare it to Kevin O'Keefe's list to see what shows up on one that doesn't on the other and determine why that is. Hmmm.... I'll have to think about what would be the best (aka "easiest") method to do that.



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