The Wisconsin Bar posted an article about legal blogging, and the article referenced this blog and me (Michael Brown, the attorney-author). While the article’s audience is attorneys, it is good for you blog readers– non-attorneys and attorneys alike– to consider the purposes of legal blogs like this one.
Attorney-authors such as myself are motivated to blog, at least in part, to market ourselves and gain clients. That’s the “selfish” motive I’m quoted about in the article. I also speak about an unselfish motive: trying to help people who are unlikely to ever become clients. Many issues I write about are for purposes of general information, and are not geared to any particular situation where a reader would be inclined to contact me or sign me up as an attorney. Examples of this include recent articles about how a good case is like a three-legged stool, and about a study of employment discrimination settlement values. These type of general eduction articles are not going to cause people to rush and sign me up, and that’s not the intent. There are some things that I just think are helpful to know, so I throw it out there, hoping it’s of some use, somewhere.
And of course, I write about situations where I am hoping people DO contact me with client inquiries.
In those situations, I do my best to approach client matters as win-win scenarios. If I’m retained on contingency basis, I am paid when my client is paid more (win-win). If another client pays me an out-of-pocket fee, I want that client to wind up with a greater financial outcome than what’s paid. My clients are usually successful in those regards. So hopefully, the “selfish” marketing aspect of blogging is bettered by the fact that win-win representation is the goal.
Which brings to mind a few parting thoughts. You should always consider– and ask a potential attorney before hiring him or her, if you don’t know the answers– these questions: (1) What does the attorney stand to gain from my matter? (2) what do I stand to gain with the attorney’s assistance? The answers should be favorable for you as a potential client.
A final note about legal blogging– what you read is NOT legal advice! Can’t say that enough. Blogs can be helpful in that they provide general educational information, and may make you consider issues you have not considered before. But to get legal advice for YOUR situation and details, you would of course need to individually consult with an attorney. And no, it does not need to be me, and of course it’s your decision in the first instance whether a given issue is important enough to you to discuss with any attorney, or to read any blog posts about.