We Want Real Lawyers – NOT Ridiculous Rules

Meet Kevin O’Keefe, he’s a veteran trial lawyer and the founder of LexBlog. I actually found out about Kevin a few months ago when the idea first crossed my mind to begin publishing Real Lawyer News. While running a Google search for ‘Real Lawyers’ I was welcomed by an army of posts plastering Kevin’s name all over my screen.

If there is anyone that deserves the title ‘Real Lawyer’, Kevin is by far a nominee. He and LexBlog are an essential catalyst responsible for driving the American legal arena into the blawgosphere. LexBlog has developed a ton of weblogs for attorneys all over the country and every one of the LexBlog sites that I looked at are slick, clutter free and well executed.

The reason I decided to write about Kevin today (I’ve been meaning to write about him for a while) was due to an alarming bit of news that I found via his blog regarding the on going controversy of what constitutes ethical advertising for lawyers as defined by the New York’s Administrative Board of Courts

Kevin writes:

“Lawyers’ foolishness in clamping down on lawyer blogs has made its way to the tech community. Slashdot, a highly popular technology-related news website, shared the absurdity this evening.

An anonymous reader writes:

‘While you might not guess it from watching late night TV, advertisements by lawyers are regulated by a web of regulations intended to protect potential clients from deceptive claims in such ads. Generally, these rules require lawyers to submit their ads to a review board, often with a filing fee paid with each new advertisement. The New York bar has proposed new rules which woulddefine blogging as advertising. Should these rules be enacted, any New York lawyer who blogs on any legal topic in New York would be required to submit any new blog post to the New York Bar for review. For New York lawyers who write frequently updated blogs, this could force them to make multiple (and potentially expensive) reports to the New York Bar every single day.’

We’ve got to get with it guys. It’s okay to run garbage ads on late night TV, on the side of busses, and on the walls behind urinals (yes, ads for dui lawyers), while we’ll clamp down on lawyers providing helpful info via blogs. Defies common sense. But suppose that’s how we got the reputation we have.”

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My response is simple: I believe that there’s an abundance of real lawyers in New York that can prevent this rule from being passed into effect if they care enough to fight it. Secondly, how can this trash be legal? Lastly, a post found on The Greatest American Lawyer pretty much sums the future of lawyering up, here’s a quote:

“If you fall into this group of people who have a great excuse not to blog, you will soon be in the minority. It’s just a question of time. Look at the number of people using MySpace or Youtube Look at how many people are blogging, sharing their lives online. Remember that a blog started in many ways as an online journal. It was far more personal in nature. The concept of debating “blogging for business” has only come later in the game. There is a giant wave coming and building. The early adopters will be in a much better position to ride that wave.”

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Rich in content, rich in results, rich in rewards for everyone. This is web2.0 – Law2.0 – Life2.0. Thanks to leaders like Kevin O’Keefe and countless others who are blogging (or ‘blawging’ however you want to describe it) the web is becoming a much more reliable and useful place. I propose that having a ‘user certified’digital identity will soon be seen as a prerequisite for any lawyer truly seeking to maintain or establish credibility among their peers and countrymen and women.

Until next post may all your days be REAL and Meaningful!

Further Research:

  • To learn more about LexBlog and Kevin O’Keefe visit http://www.lexblog.com
  • New York lawyer Ray Beckerman’s blog about the proposed new rules
  • The Greatest American Lawyer Blog
  • The Proposed New York Rules encase you missed it above

-Authored by Jamie Parks on Oct 27, 2006 at 04:16 PM