ABAJournal has an article about the recent awareness in law firms that law blogs can create PR issues for them to manage. (Martha Neil, Law Firms Waking Up to PR Issues Posed by Law Gossip Blogs (June 3, 2008) www.abajournal.com.) Amazing. How can law firms continue to be so slow to respond to the world of technology when they spend so much energy counseling clients to err on the side of caution and best practices? The article summarizes the incongruity:
“Today, leaked information can potentially reach huge numbers of strangers throughout the world in record time, thanks to electronic communications and legal gossip blogs—yet many law firms aren't focusing on this risk.
(Ibid.) In addition to the PR disasters and issues mentioned in the ABAJournal article, perhaps it will take a few high-profile PR implosions on law blogs to convince the techo-phobes at the top of the law firm food chain to recognize law blogs as a new avenue for journalism, editorial commentary and public discourse.
The complex litigation mavens are ahead of the curve. To survive the demands of modern complex/class litigation, litigators need every technological advantage they can find. Online information, including law blogs, are now a staple for such attorneys. But, in the grand scheme of things, complex (including class action) litigation is a tiny slice of the civil litigation pie. It will take time for the techonolgy tools and resources of complex litigators to migrate into widespread, general use. (Actually, I worry that it may take centuries for the legal profession to "get with it," as the legal profession, in general terms, strikes me as the most resistant to change of any profession on earth...save that really old profession that never need to change, and even that profession has embraced technology to deliver its wares.) Until all civil litigators unite in their awareness and use of law blogs, be proud that you are on the leading edge, just by reading this post.