Finding the thought leaders.

Those are the goals of this community leader program. Going through the list of practice areas, identifying legal topics currently being covered in LexBlog’s network, identify the thought leaders in each, and marching onward to get more lawyers blogging and more firms syndicating. There are thousands of legal bloggers, both inside LexBlog’s network and outside it. But despite the volume of legal bloggers and intake forms, are connections being shared? Do lawyers really know one another, share one another’s content, and help each other out? Furthermore, are people on the internet seeking information and help, getting what they need from lawyers? What would it look like to form communities among practices areas of the law, where people would know one another and collaborate on a deeper level?

I had a thought this morning on my walk pre-work. “How can I most easily explain portals in a way that makes sense and is captivating for people to want to partake?” I thought, as I was shuffling through my discover weekly playlist on Spotify.

A lightbulb went off – this is it! Portals are exactly like Spotify playlists. Curated songs based on all the genres of music I subscribed too at the beginning of my Spotify journey. I have both playlists that I have built, playlists I have collaborated with others on, and playlists broken up by genre of music or mood I am feeling. I contribute to these playlists, I share them with friends and other Spotify listeners, I open them up for others to add to, and I am adding new music on a daily basis to keep up with the relevant music in the scene.

I subscribe to other playlists that I know contain music I wouldn’t otherwise find on my own or have been recommended to me from a friend. I don’t add to these playlists because I don’t suppose to know much about all genres of music – mainly just R&B, but I do appreciate having access to them for circumstantial reasons. The point is, even if I’m not an expert in one area of music, I know where I can find people who are, and how to access their playlists. Since I am keen on R&B and have an ear that’s been tuning itself to R&B for years, I am confident creating curated playlists of R&B artists, sharing these playlists with others, and allowing others who also love R&B to collaborate with me on these playlists because I trust they know what I’d want added.

same goes for the law.

Why have syndication portals by practice area? Because right now, people need trusted lawyers, easily found and accessed online. Portals will allow lawyers, by practice area to be aggregated in one centralized hub and easily searchable — information will be curated with the most timely and relevant legal news each day.

The roadmap for establishing community leaders by practice area:

Week 1: November 2-November 6 – take inventory 

  • of the topics that are currently syndicated on, which communities are thriving? which communities have the most amount of blogs, and which communities have clearly identifiable leaders?
  • who is covering which area of the law?
  • identify which areas of the law do we need more coverage in?
  • create a list of potential community leaders, broken down by practice area (selecting from those we currently have in network).

Week 2: November 9-13 identify the leaders and begin community building with current lexblog members

  • outreach to the potential community leaders begins, telling said leaders about the community leader program.
  • from the completed spreadsheet of inventory  in the lexblog community, I will begin outreach to invite lawyers  into their respective slack channel
  • continue inviting lexblog members based on practice area into the channels

Week 3: November 16-20 creating syndication portals based on practice area

  • create 5 syndication portals for the top five practice areas in the lexblog community
  • start to take current rss feeds and blogs from lexblog members, syndicating them into portals on a practice area basis, broken down by channels as show in portals like this.
  • the community leaders will be in charge of updating syndication portals and fostering conversation on slack channels with LexBlog’s community manager

Week 4: November 23-27 continue building out syndication portals and vibrant conversations

  • create the second 5 syndication portals for the next batch of practice areas – the second 5 practice areas with vibrant communities and established leaders
  • continue appointing slack channels to the leaders, monitoring the slack channels with them and spotlighting new members to the community

Week 5: begin outreach to legal bloggers not currently in lexblog’s network 

  • after establishing in-network leaders, start researching + finding the top law firms in each key metropolitan city. after finding the most vibrant bloggers and those covering niche areas of the law and those who are seeing great success in their blogging career, begin contacting those firms and telling them about lexblog syndication and the communities that are being built for their practice area
  • after taking inventory of the areas of the law lexblog has covered well, and what we’re in need of, i will go state by state and begin recruiting legal blogs by locale, practice and expertise.

The community leader program will take thoughtful research of understanding who we’re currently working with, what areas of the law we’re currently covering, then transition to recruitment of who we want to be working with, and what areas of the law we want to expand in our network and which thought leaders we want to bring into our community. It’s important because there are too many people out there with good content – content that can help others. We need to bring that work to the surface and shine a spotlight on it for innovators to see and replicate in their own practice area or topic. Join the movement, together we can expand legal services online like never before.