/ June 15, 2008

Legal Tabloids Creating Headaches for Firms

Blogs have democratized the means of production for publishers, leading to a fast proliferation of new media. Several of the most prominent legal blogs, including Above the Law and Greedy Associates, began as niche publishing outlets for salary information and legal gossip — but since have become genuine new media phenomena in their own right – to the chagrin of some law firms, which provide seemingly constant fodder. This week, the National Law Journal outlines some of the steps that firms have taken to prevent their associates from leaking information to these popular internet hubs.

Mairi Luce of Duane Morris explains how her firm has adapted to new media. The firm now monitors the major blogs, making sure that none of their sensitive information is being leaked. Duane Morris also treats the dissemination of important documents for bonus information with heightened security, discussing details one-on-one and avoiding the unnecessary production of hard copies and e-mails (which could be forwarded to bloggers).

While blocking software is available to prevent employees from forwarding emails, even this may not be enough to protect classified information. Some individuals have successfully taken pictures of emailed documents with their cell phones to send the data to the blogosphere. As David Lat, editor of Above the Law, has mused: “Anything that is visible with the human eye can be leaked.”

Does your firm have an innovative policy for dealing with new media and blogs that cover firm politics? Have you changed your marketing strategy to accomodate the speed of dissemination of word-of-mouse? Source: The National Law Journal

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