Monday, November 24, 2008

A View From the Other Side - Law Firm Newsletters

It has been a month since I have turned from a provider of legal services at a big law firm to a consumer of legal services from big law firms. I thought I would share some of the things I have found.

First, I was surprised that the firm I left did not do anything to bridge the gap of information flow. Law firms should think about getting their departing lawyers set up with relevant newsletters to be sent to their new jobs. I have been getting more alerts (and more information) from other law firms than the law firm with which I have the closest bond.

One law firm asked me to set up a password-protected account to subscribe to alerts. But someone decided it need to be a complicated password with an uppercase letter, lowercase letter and a number/symbol. For a newsletter?!? That password is more complicated than the password for my bank account. I did not bother completing that subscription.

The general counsel forwarded me an law firm interesting newsletter: Privacy and Security Alert. Unfortunately when I went to that firm's website to subscribe, it was not one of the choices. I have noticed this with a few other law firms. If a law firm is going to label a newsletter, that label should be one of the subscription options.

All firms seem to break their publications into different chunks that make no sense to me. What is the difference between a publication, a newsletter and an alert?


  1. I applaud your post. Sometimes it is the smallest things that get overlooked, sometimes bigger things. Hopefully your post will cause firms to look at their websites and offerings from a different perspective and respond accordingly. Good luck in your new pursuit and keep sharing your insights on what outside lawyers can do to make your job easier!

  2. Patrick -

    Thank you for your thoughts. I am getting increasingly frustrated at law firm websites. Sure they are publishing their alerts gratuitously, but that is no reason to do it poorly.

    There is little unique in any of the alerts. I get several on the same topics, largely with the same analysis and conclusions.

    It is also frustrating that they do not build on each other or refer to prior or related sources (as we hove come to expect with blogs and 2.0).


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