Ron Friedmann points out in Strategic Legal Technology that large law firms are slowly dipping an institutional toe into the icy waters of legal weblogs. I agree with Mr. Friedmann that more large law firms will roll out weblogs in 2005.
This leads to a question: what took so long?
Many of the intrepid legal webloggers in my “blogroll” (aka “Links” on the right) have been writing and publishing for many years now. Yet the large firms are just getting going.
In thinking about a reason, a working hypothesis emerged: large law firms can be less innovative (not all). This isn’t necessarily because their lawyers are less innovative. I think it may be due in part to the inertia that a large law firm can exert on a lawyer with a new idea. Particularly one who is trying to move the firm (in a small way) into the 21st century.
One can imagine the challenge in getting a green light from the necessary firm committees. Or the reality that one naysayer can derail progress and put things on hold.
Whatever the real reasons, I believe that the not-too-distant future for law firms will be characterized by major innovation challenges. These challenges will likely make the hurdle posed by starting a legal weblog look in retrospect like the dilemma of what color to choose for the firm’s stationery.
Or maybe I am over-complicating the issue. Perhaps the real reason can be summed up in two words.