Too many clients only learn once into a legal matter that their attorneys really don’t have the insight they purported to on a particular legal issue. In a recent post entitled “Why in the World Would You give Away Your Expertise for Free?”, I made a pitch that more lawyers should blog for lots of reasons. I even suggested that this fulfills a pro bono responsibility.
After re-reading the post, another very important thing occurred to me. Lawyers who find a way to publish online through newsletters, blogs, comments, searchable PDFs, and such are at an increasingly significant competitive advantage against other attorneys. More and more clients are researching their attorneys before they hire them. After all, it only takes about 15 minutes to do a fairly comprehensive search about anyone. But what if the legal issue the client is worried about is one you’ve never spoken publicly on? What if there isn’t one single Google return for a search including “your name” and “fill in the blank”.
While you might not think it’s a real problem, consider this. There are probably ten or more other attorneys who have published and whose names will be returned in a Google search. Now consider one more thing. If you were the client, who would you hire?