Founder of Legal Linguist touts the value of blogging

 By Debra Talcott

Legal News
It is no secret that in the legal profession—as in most fields—competition for clients is a fact of life. That is where attorney Lisa Schmidt of Schmidt Law Services, PLLC steps in to help.  
 In January, Schmidt created “Legal Linguist,” a specialized area of her Southfield law practice in which she offers ghost blogging services to fellow attorneys looking for a way to communicate the kinds of services they offer potential clients.
“I have been blogging for three years—as long as I have been an attorney,” says Schmidt.  “When I left my previous firm in 2011, I offered to continue writing their blog, and thus the idea of ghost blogging was born.”
Schmidt says solo practitioners and small firms need to find new ways to distinguish themselves and create niche markets and that blogging is an effective way to do both. Yet, some attorneys lack the time or confidence to use this form of communication as a way to grow their practices.
“Seventy-six percent of potential clients go online at some point in the process of finding a lawyer,” she said. “Legal blogs give those clients insight into the person they’re hiring, and blogs demonstrate the lawyer’s expertise in a way no other advertising can.”
Before accepting a new client of her own, Schmidt meets personally with the attorney to discuss topics the blogs will cover, the attorney’s areas of practice, the target audience, and appropriate tone for the blogs.
“I offer several packages and add-on services, which I will explain, and we will decide what schedule works best for him or her,” says Schmidt. “Once we have an agreement, I will write an article or two and send them to the attorney for approval before we go live. That way the lawyer knows what they are getting before it goes public.”
Schmidt admits that some lawyers are uneasy about offering legal advice through blogging.
“But writing a blog is no different from contributing articles to a local newspaper or magazine or writing a book,” explains Schmidt. “It is my understanding that since there is no personalized information, there is no relationship. Any ethical concerns can also be addressed with a standardized disclaimer and by encouraging commenters to contact the attorney for a consultation if they have questions.”
Schmidt welcomes anyone who wants to begin blogging to check out the blog section on for tips and strategies for legal blog writing. 
A 2009 graduate of Cooley Law School, Schmidt also has a bachelor’s degree in English with a creative writing focus from Michigan State University. A native of Macomb County, Schmidt lived in Lansing and St. Joseph before settling in Ferndale and opening her practice, which specializes in family law, criminal defense, and civil rights.
“I live with my partner, who is a software developer,” she said. “His knowledge has given me an edge on understanding the technology behind blogging and Internet marketing.”
In her free time, Schmidt shares her expertise and time with the ACLU of Michigan, where she serves on state and local boards and lawyers’ committees.
She also volunteers at the Affirmations Community Center in Ferndale on the organization’s Faith Alliance.
“I have always seen the legal profession as a public service,” she said. “Working with nonprofit organizations is important to me and allows me to help those whose voice would not otherwise be heard.”

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