Inside Track: 43 Wisconsin Law Blogs: Are You on This List?:

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  • 43 Wisconsin Law Blogs: Are You on This List?

    Blogging helps lawyers showcase expertise while marketing to current and potential clients. Check out who is on InsideTrack’s third annual “Wisconsin Law Blogs” list.

    Joe Forward

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    Erin Ogden

    Erin Ogden (pictured) and Jeffrey Glazer, partners at OgdenGlazer LLC in Madison, published their first blog post the day after opening their law firm in 2016. Since then, they have written almost 60 blog posts in the past 14 months, with posts every Tuesday. Ogden says blogging is part of their business plan.

    Author’s Note: Since original publication of this article, the State Bar has added more blogs to this list and will continue to update the list as more active blogs are identified. The list currently contains 49 Wisconsin law blogs.    

    March 15, 2017 – Wisconsin law bloggers Erin Ogden and Jeffrey Glazer, partners at OgdenGlazer LLC in Madison, opened their law firm doors on Jan. 4, 2016. They published their first blog post the next day, and they’ve been going strong ever since.

    They’ve written almost 60 blog posts in the past 14 months, with posts every Tuesday. Ogden said blogging was a part of their business plan, and they are sticking to it.

    “We constantly are asked for information, many times the same questions,” said Ogden, whose firm focuses on business, food and beverage, and intellectual property law.

    “We know people are looking for that information,” she said. “So if there is demand, why not be the supply? Plus, from prior experience, we knew that it would be a driver to our website and would lead to work.”

    Regularly writing blog posts is the best way for lawyers to create a website that will be found by potential clients.

    OgdenGlazer’s blog is just one of 33 active solo, small firm, or independent blogs on InsideTrack’s third annual Wisconsin Law Blogs list. The list also includes active blogs from 10 larger law firms. Other law-related blogs are noted, and a list of blogs published by State Bar sections is included, even though most are still relatively new.

    To be included in this year’s list, the blog must be published by a Wisconsin attorney or attorneys, with at least 12 posts in 2016, and at least two posts in 2017. If a posting date cannot be discerned, the blog is not included. The blog must also highlight legal news or developments, not simply news about the law firm, its lawyers or cases.

    Why Do We Highlight Law Blogs?

    Why do we highlight blogs? Because lawyers are sharing valuable information on them, in many practice areas. We also highlight blogging as a marketing tool.

    Lawyers should understand the marketing power that blogging can unleash, according to Larry Bodine, a Wisconsin lawyer and senior legal marketing strategist at LawLytics.

    “Regularly writing blog posts is the best way for lawyers to create a website that will be found by potential clients,” said Bodine. “It is the single best way to pursue content marketing, and to assure that an attorney website ranks high in Google.”

    “I hear comments from lawyers who are delighted to get new business within 24 hours of writing a blog post,” said Bodine, based in Arizona. “Also, lawyers tell me they get new business from a blog post that was put online months earlier. It shows that blogging is building an online asset that works immediately, and also over time.”

    What Good Blog Posts Can Do

    Bodine, who has his own blog and contributes law firm marketing-related articles to Wisconsin Lawyer, says a good blog post should answer a question a client would ask.

    “Potential clients use the web for self-help to understand their problems,” Bodine said. “Blog posts should cover legal news, statistics, and research that provide answers. Avoid self-aggrandizing, public relations-types of posts, and instead add material that will build an informational website like Web MD or a university publications site.”

    When done right, Bodine says blogging allows potential clients to know, trust, and like an attorney -- key steps in the formation of a new client relationship.

    “New blog posts show that the attorney is current and up-to-date, and reflect prominently in Google, which favors new material. Blog posts are also an opportunity for a lawyer to demonstrate expertise and show what the working relationship will be like.”

    Ogden and Glazer saw the benefits of blogging long before starting their own firm. Ogden said her partner, Glazer, wrote Madison Beer Review for quite a few years, and despite not really advertising that he was a lawyer, he got quite a few craft brewery clients and a lot of name recognition in that industry from it. (Indeed, Wisconsin Lawyer asked Glazer to write an article on brewery law, largely because of this recognition.)

    “It isn’t a giant leap to realize that if you actually tell people you are a lawyer, they will then know who to call when they want to hire someone to help with topics on which you are writing,” said Ogden, noting the firm gets work as a direct result of the blog.

    “But I find the better use is that when I get a question that I have received fifty times before, instead of answering in long form, I can direct them to the blog post that answers that question. I try to put links in each post to more information as well.”

    Ogden noted that when clients get answers, they start trusting her knowledge. And she can focus on other projects when her blog answers basic and common questions.

    “It leads to a more informed client, which leads to better documents. Plus, when I get asked by clients about their own blog or social media, I know what they are talking about and have legal knowledge and real world experience to share,” she said.

    Randy Enochs, who publishes the Wisconsin Employment & Labor Law Blog for Enochs Law Firm in Milwaukee, also values blogging as a marketing tool.

    “I often get phone calls from people who read a story on my blog and that drove them to phone me, thinking their situation is similar,” Enochs said. “In tracking various sources of marketing, my blog tends to be among the best sources for obtaining new clients.”

    Blogging Helps Lawyers Stay Informed

    The marketing aspect of blogging is real, Enochs says. But blogging also allows lawyers to sort through problems they are likely to face in practice – to educate themselves.

    “Blogging allows me to stay informed of recent and current case law in the employment and labor law area as well as market myself and my law firm,” Enochs said.

    I often get phone calls from people who read a story on my blog and that drove them to phone me.

    Enochs started blogging in law school, in the early 2000s, as a guest blogger for the American Constitution Society. When he started his own law practice in 2010, he incorporated blogging as part of his marketing efforts. But it takes discipline.

    “I usually spend my lunch break every day scanning various news and labor and employment law sites for new case law and stories, bookmark them, and then simply find a couple hours to devote to reading more and then writing a quick post,” he said.

    Enochs likes to write about new cases and opinions, but also covers ground-breaking legislation that is developing. He says the process is a good way to stay informed on the latest news in his practice area, and keep clients and potential clients informed too.

    Blogging Can Help Lawyers Distinguish Themselves

    A recent report from the Center for the Study of the Legal Profession and Georgetown University Law School, published by Thomson Reuters, notes the “fundamental” and “irreversible” changes that have occurred in the legal market since the Great Recession.

    The report notes “a discernable and growing segmentation of the market into highly successful and less successful firms.” A common denominator of successful firms? “Strategic focus and proactive response to the needs and expectations of clients.”

    So what is one way to be strategically focused and meet the needs and expectations of clients? Niche blogs that provide answers to specialized questions clients are asking.

    I become top of mind and a source of knowledge.

    “If you can blog today on a decision that came out this morning involving a really specific technical aspect of the law, you have now portrayed yourself as a current expert,” Mark Silow, managing partner at Fox Rothschild, told Bloomberg Law.

    If a lawyer can use a blog to help individuals and businesses through a blog, for free, it makes sense that the lawyer will be the go-to when legal help is needed. Ogden says her firm’s blog is a valuable source of information to build referral networks.

    “I become top of mind and a source of knowledge,” she said. “When referral sources are asked, ‘do you know someone who can help me with a trademark?’ and I just wrote a post about picking a strong trademark, who do you think they recommend? Me!”

    But Where Do I Start?

    Ogden says she writes about things that clients are always asking. If clients are asking about something multiple times, it indicates they can’t find answers elsewhere. She also bounces potential ideas off clients, referral sources, and other groups.

    Joe Forwardorg jforward wisbar Joe Forward, Saint Louis Univ. School of Law 2010, is a legal writer for the State Bar of Wisconsin, Madison. He can be reached by org jforward wisbar email or by phone at (608) 250-6161.

    “A lot of times, the fun posts are ones that I have to research a little bit,” Ogden said. “I gain knowledge, and my readers gain knowledge. It’s a win-win!” Ogden also says frequency is important to keep content fresh, and she keeps her posts relatively short. That is, people should be able to read the blog post while waiting in line for coffee.

    “If it’s a big topic, I’ll see if I can cut it up into multiple posts,” Ogden said. “Sometimes, when I am writing one post, I realize that some background information is needed, so I’ll back up and write that one first. Or, if I get too involved in one post, I back up and ask where a natural breaking point is and stop there. Then next week, I go more in depth.”

    Here’s the List!

    Now that we’ve mentioned some of the major benefits of law blogging, or “blawging,” we present this year’s list of Wisconsin Law Blogs. We’ve done our best to find these blogs, but if we missed yours, send Legal Writer org jforward wisbar Joe Forward a link to your blog via email.

    You’ll notice changes from the 2015 and 2016 Wisconsin Law Blog lists. Some blogs previously listed are no longer active or available, which may illustrate the challenges of active blogging. Still, the 2017 list includes various newcomers.

    33 Active Wisconsin Solo, Small Firm, and Independent Blogs*

    Blog

    Firm Affiliation

    Practice Area

    Andrew Ladd Law Blog

    The Law Offices of Andrew C. Ladd LLC

    criminal defense

    Appleton Personal Injury Law Blog

    Peterson Berk Cross SC

    personal injury

    Appleton WI Bankruptcy Law Blog

    Helbing Law Office LLC

    bankruptcy

    Banking Misconduct Blog

    Brian Mahany, Judge, Lang & Katers and Mahany Law

    banking misconduct

    Cannon & Dunphy Blog

    Cannon & Dunphy SC

    personal injury

    Center for Health & Wellness Law Blog

    Barbara Zabawa, Center for Health & Wellness Law LLC

    health and wellness law

    Comics Lawyer Blog**

    Dirk Vanover, Vanover Legal LLC

    legal issues in the comic book and entertainment industries

    Due Diligence

    Brian Mahany, Mahany Law

    whisteblower and fraud recovery

    Employment Law Blog

    Jesse Dill, Walcheski & Luzi LLC

    employment law

    Gimbel Reilly Guirin & Brown Blog

    Gimbel Reilly Guirin & Brown, LLP

    general

    Herrling Clark Law Firm Blog

    Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd

    personal injury, family law, estate planning

    Hudson Legal Blog

    Mudge Porter Ludeen & Seguin SC

    personal and workplace injury

    Hurley, Burish, & Stanton Blog

    Hurley, Burish, & Stanton SC

    general

    In House Owl**

    Joel Smith, Generac Power Systems Inc.

    legal training

    Karp & Iancu Blog

    David Karp, Karp & Iancu SC

    family law, personal injury

    The Legal Geeks**

    Jessica Mederson, Hansen Reynolds LLC

    entertainment

    The Legal Watchdog

    Michael Cicchini, Cicchini Law Office LLC

    criminal law

    Loeb & Herman Blog

    Gregg Herman, Loeb & Herman SC

    family law

    Mallery & Zimmerman Blog

    Mallery & Zimmerman SC

    employment law

    Milwaukee Bankruptcy Law Blog

    Miller & Miller Law LLC

    bankruptcy & creditor/debtor

    Milwaukee Criminal Defense Law Blog

    Kohn Smith Roth

    criminal defense

    Milwaukee Criminal Lawyers Blog

    Reddin & Singer, LLP

    criminal law

    Milwaukee Employment Law Blog

    Alan C. Olson & Associates

    employee rights

    Milwaukee Wisconsin Motor Vehicle Accident Law Blog

    Martin Law Office, LLC

    personal injury

    Murphy & Prachthauser Blog

    Murphy & Prachthauser SC

    auto accidents and personal injury

    OgdenGlazer Blog

    Ogden Glazer LLC

    business, food and beverage, intellectual property

    On Point

    Wisconsin State Public Defender

    criminal defense

    Rozek Law Offices Blog

    Rozek Law Offices SC

    personal injury; auto accidents

    Tesar Law Group Blog

    Tesar Law Group SC

    estate planning

    The Previant Law Firm Blog

    The Previant Law Firm SC

    labor and employment, personal injury

    Wisconsin Business Law Blog

    Schober Schober & Mitchell SC

    business law

    Wisconsin DUI Law Blog

    Melowski & Associates

    DUI defense

    Wisconsin Employment & Labor Law Blog

    Randy Enochs, Enochs Law Firm

    employment and labor

    Wisconsin Family Law Info

    Nelson, Krueger & Millenbach LLC

    family law

    Wisconsin Law Blog

    Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Associates LLC

    personal injury, worker's compensation

    Wisconsin Personal Injury Blog

    Davis & Gelshenen LLP

    personal injury

    Wisconsin Probate and Estate Planning Blog

    Krause Donovan LLC

    probate and estate planning

    Wisconsin Unemployment Law Blog

    Victor Forberger

    unemployment law, labor and employment

    Wisconsin Workers' Compensation Experts

    Domer Law

    worker's compensation

    * Blog affiliated with a law firm with less than 20 attorneys. “Active” means the blog posted at least 12 times in 2016 and at least twice in 2017. If the blog does not have an actual name, the law firm name is used.

    ** These are “independent” blogs. They are not affiliated or branded by a law firm. However, this list still notes the law firm or entity of the independent blogger listed.

    10 Wisconsin Mid-sized and Large Firm Blogs*

    Blog

    Firm Affiliation

    Practice Area

    Axley Brynelson Blog

    Axley Brynelson LLP

    general

    Dewitt Ross & Stevens Blogs

    Dewitt Ross & Stevens SC

    8 blogs: creditors rights; employment law; environmental law; ESOPs; estate planning; family law; immigration; business law.

    Foley & Lardner Blogs

    Foley & Lardner LLP

    12 blogs: Wisconsin appellate; labor and employment; automotive; energy; manufacturing; pharma; patents; IP litigation; personalized medicine; renewable energy; consumer financial.

    All In a Day's Work

    Godfrey & Kahn SC

    labor and employment

    Writing on Your Rights

    Hawks Quindel SC

    labor and employment; family law; employee benefits; and personal injury

    Husch Blackwell Blogs

    Husch Blackwell LLP

    13 blogs: privacy and data; cannabis law; energy; food and agriculture; healthcare; higher education; k-12 education; labor law; organic and sustainable ag; patent law; securities; government contracting; technology and manufacturing.

    O’Neil Cannon Hollman Dejong & Laing Blogs

    O’Neil Cannon Hollman Dejong & Laing SC

    2 blogs: labor and employment; tax and wealth.

    The Blue Ink

    Ruder Ware

    employment, banking, tax, municipal law, health care

    Stafford Rosenbaum Blog

    Stafford Rosenbaum LLP

    municipal, appellate, labor and employment, franchise & distribution, government relations, trusts and estates

    von Briesen & Roper Blog

    von Briesen & Roper SC

    health law

    * Some larger firms maintain multiple blogs. They are not listed separately. If the blog does not have an actual name, only the law firm name is noted.

    Other Notable Blogs

    Blog

    Affiliation

    Practice Area

    Althouse

    Ann Althouse, U.W. Law School

    general

    Life Sentences Blog

    Michael O'Hear, M.U. Law School

    crime, policing, punishment

    M.U. Law School Faculty Blog

    M.U. Law School

    general

    Proof and Hearsay

    Bruce Vielmetti, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    legal news

    ScowStats

    Alan Ball, Marquette University

    statistics on the Wisconsin Supreme Court

    WisBlawg

    U.W. Law School

    legal research

    Other Articles on Blogging

    Beyond Search: Lawyers Should Blog to Stand Out Online (Video)InsideTrack (October 5, 2016)

    Converting Blog Readers Into LeadsWisconsin Lawyer (April 2015)

    5 Tips to Love and Live With Your BlogWisconsin Lawyer (June 2014)