Inside Track: 69 Wisconsin Law Blogs and a "Golden Opportunity for Wisconsin Lawyers":

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  • 69 Wisconsin Law Blogs and a "Golden Opportunity for Wisconsin Lawyers"

    In this fourth annual "Wisconsin Law Blogs" article, we list active Wisconsin law blogs amd talk to Kevin O'Keefe, the Wisconsin native and CEO of LexBlog, a blogging platform for lawyers.

    Joe Forward

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    blogging to reach the world

    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.

    March 21, 2018 – Kevin O’Keefe, a trial lawyer in La Crosse for 17 years, had a vision in 1999, the era of America Online (AOL). He was using AOL message boards to answer general questions about personal injury, employment, and other legal issues.

    “I focused on helping people,” O’Keefe said. “The byproduct of that was I built a name for myself.” Amidst the well-known litigators with big pockets in bigger cities, people with legal issues were reaching out to O’Keefe, a rural lawyer leveraging the internet.

    So what did O'Keefe do next? He closed his law shop and moved to Seattle with his wife and five children to start a company, a virtual law community that allowed people to connect online through articles, elists, and ask-a-lawyer message boards.

    “My goal wasn’t to help lawyers, although I knew if lawyers were helping people online, they would have all the work they could shake a stick at,” O’Keefe said.

    A few years after LexisNexis bought O’Keefe’s company, Prairielaw.com, he started his own blog. He wanted to explain to lawyers how they could leverage the internet to help people, giving them name recognition and exposure as an expert in their area of law.

    And soon after launching his own blog, Real Lawyers Have Blogs, O’Keefe launched a new company called LexBlog. That was in 2004. Today, the LexBlog network powers more than 15,000 law bloggers, attorneys from across the U.S., including Wisconsin.

    Yes, O’Keefe’s business does better if more bloggers join his network. But O’Keefe said the platform helps lawyers help people, and helping people is extremely powerful.

    Blogging isn't a necessity, O'Keefe says. But he wonders why law students and lawyers, especially solo and small firm lawyers, would not leverage this type of tool to build their online networks for employment and business development purposes. 

    “I would think that in this day and age, when every law student and every lawyer has a smart phone, they would figure out how to use the smart phone for building relationships and building a name,” said O’Keefe, noting blogs can help them standout in a crowded field of competition.

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    Lawyers should blog if they want to stand out from their competitors online, says Kevin O'Keefe, founder and CEO of LexBlog, a company which works with lawyers develop their presence on the Web. By sharing content online, lawyers can better showcase their knowledge, connect with others in their field, and ultimately become a thought-leader in their niche.

    Give and You Shall Receive

    O’Keefe says the internet is a communications medium. Law firm websites and online ads give lawyers an online presence, he says, but blogging is a conversation. In order to be involved in the conversation, you have to enter the room where it’s happening.

    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.

    “Most people never go into the room,” O’Keefe said. “Just imagine you’re an estate planner in Green Bay, and you are down in Milwaukee just shouting estate planning information out of a bullhorn. You can’t figure out why nobody pays attention to you.”

    “Even if you’re in Green Bay with a bullhorn, nobody is listening. But now you go over to the Brown County Coliseum where there’s a big estate planning conference. Instead of shouting, you listen, and you tell other people what you heard, and who said it.”

    O’Keefe said the people you talk about will start listening. And the people in the stands will start to see you, too, because other people will start referencing you, he said.

    In February, O’Keefe wrote a blog post about law schools. Here’s the lead paragraph: “Leave it to legal tech innovator and law professor, Bill Henderson to be part of a new nonprofit, the Institute for the Future of Law Practice, that will coordinate the entry-level law school market around an updated and modernized curriculum.”

    Do you think Bill Henderson saw this? Do you think Bill Henderson now knows who Kevin O’Keefe is? It’s this interaction that allows lawyers to build their names, he said.

    “My blog is about what I’m reading,” he said. “I’m going to share that, and I’m going to tell you why I share it. And I am going to meet those people who I talked about.”

    “And when somebody gets my name from somebody in Green Bay, now they Google me and see that I have been cited by a lawyer in Miami, San Diego, Chicago, Seattle, Boston, and New York. Tell me whether that leaves an impression.”

    But successful blogging is more than that. Lawyers have to find their niche. Now is a great time for lawyers to step into that fray. “There’s no doubt that coverage of legal issues is down. So, it provides lawyers with a wonderful opportunity to cover niches.”

    “Just think about it. You have about 15,000 active lawyers in Wisconsin, but less than one percent are blogging. What a golden opportunity,” O’Keefe said.

    O’Keefe gives an example of water law, as a niche blog. “In Wisconsin, water law is a hot topic. Whoever is blogging on water law will be the water law lawyer,” he said.

    O’Keefe hopes to use the LexBlog platform to give more lawyers, especially solo and small firm lawyers in rural areas, affordable tools to leverage the power of blogging.

    “The internet is only growing and growing,” he said. “My hope is that we can democratize the ability of good lawyers to get good work.”

    The 2018 Wisconsin Law Blogs

    For the fourth year in a row, the State Bar of Wisconsin lists Wisconsin law firms and lawyers who are actively blogging. From criminal defense to employment law, from entertainment law to family law, we searched high and low to find these law bloggers in Wisconsin.

    We didn’t see anything on water law (wink, wink). But we did uncover 44 blogs from solo, small firm, or independent law bloggers, 13 large firm blogs (some with multiple blogs, five academic blogs from professors at Marquette University and U.W.-Madison, and 15 State Bar of Wisconsin section blogs (seven active).

    Some of these blogs have been going strong since the State Bar published its first annual “Wisconsin Law Blogs” in 2015. Other blogs fell off the list. Some blogs are new to the scene. If you think your blog meets the criteria for inclusion but it's not included, contact State Bar Legal Writer org jforward wisbar Joe Forward.

    Remember, the list only includes blogs that posted at least 12 times in 2017, and at least twice in 2018. If the blog did not include dated posts, it is not included.

    Did the State Bar Miss Your Blog?

    If you think your blog meets the criteria for inclusion and it is not included, send Legal Writer org jforward wisbar Joe Forward an email with a link to your blog.

    47 Wisconsin Solo, Small Firm, or Independent Blogs

    Blog

    Firm Affiliation

    Practice Area

    1

    Andrew Ladd Law Blog

    The Law Offices of Andrew C. Ladd LLC

    criminal defense

    2

    Appleton Personal Injury Law Blog

    Peterson Berk Cross SC

    personal injury law

    3

    Appleton WI Bankruptcy Law Blog

    Helbing Law Office LLC

    bankruptcy  law

    4

    Banking Misconduct Blog

    Mahany Law and Judge, Lang & Katers, LLC

    banking law

    5

    Boller & Vaughan Blog

    Boller & Vaughan LLC

    personal injury law

    6

    Cannon & Dunphy Blog

    Cannon & Dunphy SC

    personal injury law

    7

    Center for Health & Wellness Law Blog

    Barbara Zabawa, Center for Health & Wellness Law LLC

    health law

    8

    Comics Lawyer Blog**

    Dirk Vanover, Vanover Legal LLC

    entertainment law

    9

    Due Diligence

    Brian Mahany, Mahany Law

    whistleblower and fraud recovery law

    10

    Employment Law Blog

    Walcheski & Luzi LLC

    employment law

    11

    Family Law Blog

    Sterling Law Offices SC

    family law

    12

    Gimbel Reilly Guerin & Brown Blog

    Gimbel Reilly Guerin & Brown, LLP

    general

    13

    Herrling Clark Law Firm Blog

    Herrling Clark Law Firm Ltd

    personal injury, family law, estate planning

    14

    Hudson Legal Blog

    Mudge Porter Ludeen & Seguin SC

    personal and workplace injury

    15

    Hurley, Burish, & Stanton Blog

    Hurley, Burish, & Stanton SC

    general

    16

    Karp & Iancu Blog

    David Karp, Karp & Iancu SC

    family law, personal injury law

    17 KEW Tips Blog Kramer, Elkins & Watt LLC business, employment, famil law

    18

    The Legal Watchdog Blog**

    Michael Cicchini, Cicchini Law Office LLC

    criminal law

    19

    Loeb & Herman Blog

    Gregg Herman, Loeb & Herman SC

    family law

    20

    Mallery & Zimmerman Blog

    Mallery & Zimmerman SC

    general

    21

    MWH Law Group Blog

    MHW Law Group

    general

    22

    Milwaukee Criminal Defense Law Blog

    Kohn Smith Roth

    criminal defense

    23

    Milwaukee Divorce Lawyer Blog

    Reddin & Singer LLP

    family law

    24

    Milwaukee Employment Law Blog

    Alan C. Olson & Associates

    employee rights law

    25

    Milwaukee Legal Issues Blog

    The Law Offices of Robert A. Levine

    Personal insury

    26

    Milwaukee Wisconsin Motor Vehicle Accident Law Blog

    Martin Law Office LLC

    personal injury law

    27

    Murphy & Prachthauser Blog

    Murphy & Prachthauser SC

    personal injury law

    28

    Navigator Blog**

    Melinda Gustafson Gervasi, Gustafson Gervasi Law Office LLC

    estate and probate law

    29

    OgdenGlazer Blog

    Ogden Glazer LLC

    business, food and beverage, intellectual property law

    30

    On Point Blog

    Wisconsin State Public Defender

    personal injury, criminal defense

    31

    Paul Ksicinski Blog

    Paul A. Ksicinski, Attorney at Law

    criminal defense

    32 Police Misconduct Blog Mahany Law police misconduct

    33

    Probst Law Blog

    Probst Law Offices SC

    family law

    34 Schloemer Law Firm Blog Schloemer Law Firm estate planning, tax and business law

    35

    Stangl Law Blog

    Stangl Law Offices SC

    criminal defense

    36 Studinski Law Blog Studinski Law LLC personal injury

    37

    Tesar Law Group Blog

    Tesar Law Group SC

    estate planning

    38

    The Editing Lawyer Blog**

    Benjamin Scott Wright, Elder Advisors Law

    legal writing, editing, publishing

    39

    The Previant Law Firm Blog

    The Previant Law Firm SC

    labor and employment, personal injury law

    40

    Tristan’s Landlord-Tenant Law Blog

    Tristan Pettit, Petrie & Pettit SC

    Landlord-tenant law

    41

    Wisconsin Bankruptcy Law Blog

    Miller & Miller Law LLC

    bankruptcy & creditor/debtor law

    42

    Wisconsin Business Law Blog

    Schober Schober & Mitchell SC

    business law

    43

    Wisconsin DUI Law Blog

    Melowski & Associates

    DUI defense

    44

    Wisconsin Family Law Blog

    Nelson, Krueger & Millenbach, LLC

    family law

    45

    Wisconsin Law Blog

    Fitzpatrick, Skemp & Associates, LLC

    personal injury, worker's compensation law

    46

    Wisconsin Probate and Estate Planning Blog

    Krause Donovan, LLC

    probate and estate planning law

    47

    Wisconsin Unemployment Law Blog**

    Victor Forberger

    unemployment law, labor and employment law

    48

    Wisconsin Workers' Compensation Experts

    Domer Law

    worker's compensation law

    * Blog affiliated with a law firm with less than 20 attorneys. “Active” means at least 12 posts in 2017 and at least two posts in 2018. 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.

    13 Wisconsin Large Firm Blogs

    Blog

    Firm Affiliation

    Practice Area

    1

    Axley Brynelson Blog

    Axley Brynelson LLP

    general

    2

    Dewitt Ross & Stevens Blogs

    Dewitt Ross & Stevens SC

    8 blogs, various topics

    3

    Foley & Lardner Blogs

    Foley & Lardner LLP

    14 blogs, various topics

    4

    All In a Day's Work Blog

    Godfrey & Kahn SC

    labor and employment, insurance

    5

    Hall Render Blog

    Hall Render Killian Health & Lyman

    health law

    6

    Writing on Your Rights

    Hawks Quindel SC

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

    7

    Husch Blackwell Blogs

    Husch Blackwell LLP

    13 blogs, various topics

    8

    O’Neil Cannon Hollman Dejong & Laing Blogs

    O’Neil Cannon Hollman Dejong & Laing SC

    labor and employment; tax and wealth.

    9

    Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren Blog

    Reinhart Boerner Van Deuren SC

    general

    10

    The Blue Ink Blogs

    Ruder Ware

    employment, banking, tax, municipal law, health care

    11

    SmithAmendsen Labor & Employment Blog

    SmithAmundsen LLC

    labor & employment

    12

    Stafford Rosenbaum Blog

    Stafford Rosenbaum LLP

    general

    13

    von Briesen & Roper Blog

    von Briesen & Roper SC

    general

    * 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.

    5 Wisconsin Academic Law Blogs

    Blog

    Affiliation

    Practice Area

    1

    Althouse Blog

    Ann Althouse, U.W. Law School

    general

    2

    Life Sentences Blog

    Michael O'Hear, M.U. Law School

    crime, policing, punishment

    3

    M.U. Law School Faculty Blog

    M.U. Law School

    general

    4

    ScowStats Blog

    Alan Ball, Marquette University

    statistics on the Wisconsin Supreme Court

    5

    WisBlawg

    U.W. Law School

    legal research

    7 Active State Bar of Wisconsin Blogs*

    1

    Agricultural Law and Rural Practice Blog

    2

    Business Law Section Blog

    3

    Construction and Public Contract Section Blog

    4

    Environmental Law Section Blog

    5

    International Practice Section Blog

    6

    Labor & Employment Blog

    7

    Litigation Section Blog

    * These blogs meet the criteria as “active” blogs, with at least 12 posts in 2017 and at least two posts in 2018.

    8 Emerging State Bar of Wisconsin Blogs*

    1

    Children and the Law Section Blog

    2

    Dispute Resolution Section Blog

    3

    Family Law Section Blog

    4

    Nonresident Lawyers Blog

    5

    Public Interest Section Blog

    6

    Real Property and Probate Trust Law Blog

    7

    Taxation Law Section Blog

    8

    Children and the Law Section Blog

    * These blogs don’t meet the criteria as “active” blogs because they are new or did not post at least 12 times in 2017.