A blog post over at the Drug and Device Law blog sparks me to return to the issue of BigLaw blogging. Two lawyers, one from Jones Day and one from Dechert, write this blog jointly. 

By now, blogs are so popular that many observers blame them, in part, for the demise of mainstream print media. So blogging hardly seems controversial or quirky anymore.

In The State Of The Big Firm Blogosphere, Jones Day lawyer Mark Herrmann observed “Of the ten firms with the highest profits per partner (we know, we know! everyone criticizes that metric, but the public is still fascinated by it) in the United States, only one has any connection to a blog.”

In a follow-up post, More On Big Firm Blogging, Dechert lawyer Jim Beck picks up on this observation, offering a synthesis of the many comments they received with theories of why lawyers at the most profitable firms don’t blog. This is a must read for anyone interested in BigLaw blogging.

I put my cards on the table in a 2008 presentation, Blogging: Why the Fuss, arguing that blogs are among the most-cost effective approaches to marketing for lawyers.

It’s hard to square the theories Beck reports hearing with the current legal market depression. Absent a return to growing demand for high-end legal services and BigLaw pricing power – both of which seem unlikely anytime soon – BigLaw will have to grab for market share. If so, let’s see how these theories hold up.

Update (8 July 2009): The AmLaw Daily blog, in No Time for Blogging When There’s Work to be Done?, picks up on the Mark Hermann blog post. AmLaw contacted several of the top 10 firms that don’t blog to ask them why. AmLaw also raise a point I make in my “Why the Fuss” presentation: if a firm is going to publish memos or e-mail alerts, why not also blog.

Update (8 July 2009): See also Bob Ambrogi’s Why the Biggest Firms Don’t Blog at Legal Blog Watch.