The Illinois State Bar Association today formally launched Illinois Lawyer Now, a first-of-its-kind bar portal that aggregates content from members’ legal blogs together with original ISBA content.

“By aggregating ISBA and members’ legal blogs from around the state, it is hoped that Illinois Lawyer Now will become the preeminent site for recent Illinois-specific legal content,” the ISBA said in a post announcing the site.

Illinois Lawyer Now is the first site to launch using syndication portal technology developed by the legal blogging and publishing company LexBlog. The technology is a turnkey publishing product that gives organizations the ability to aggregate content from many blogs and sites into one online publication.

[Full disclosure: I am publisher and editor-in-chief of LexBlog.com.]

Based on the technology that powers LexBlog.com, which aggregates content from over 22,000 members, the syndication portal attributes content to the original author, organization, and site, so author ownership and links are maintained.

For Illinois Lawyer Now, any of the ISBA’s 30,000 members who maintain a blog can add the blog’s content to the portal. Blogs qualify for inclusion if either the author is an ISBA member or the blog is associated with a firm that employs at least one ISBA member.

ISBA is seeking participation from blogs that feature substantive legal news or information. It reserves the right to reject blogs that are overly promotional are that do not meet other standards.

Once the ISBA accepts a blog, then its content also appears on Illinois Lawyer Now. Each post will include the post title, the blog title, the author’s name, any accompanying artwork, and a link back to the original post.

“By aggregating members’ legal blogs on a single website, the ISBA aims to shine a brighter light on the excellent writing its members are doing every day,” the ISBA said. “While the average blog on a firm’s website is seen by only those who visit the firm’s site, inclusion on Illinois Lawyer Now will amplify the content’s exposure and result in many more readers.”

Until recently, “Illinois Lawyer Now” was the name of the ISBA’s blog for member news. In April, the ISBA changed the name of its blog to The Bar News, teasing at the time,  “Stay tuned for an upcoming announcement about the future of Illinois Lawyer Now!”

“We find that a syndication portal is a win-win for our members and their readers,” says ISBA President James F. McCluskey. “Illinois Lawyer Now gives our blogging members an opportunity to grow their audience, and at the same time, it gives readers access a variety of knowledge from Illinois lawyers all in one place.”

Although this is the first portal to launch on LexBlog’s syndication platform, others are in the works, the company says. The technology is appropriate for any organization that seeks to highlight members’ content and strengthen its membership organization. That could include bar associations, law schools, larger law firms and special interest groups.

“LexBlog’s syndication portals are important, not just from the standpoint of technology, but because they aim to bring focus back to the individual blogger,” says LexBlog CEO Kevin O’Keefe. “The blogger retains ownership of their content with a greater ability to grow relationships and build social influence in their network through blogging.”

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Photo of Bob Ambrogi Bob Ambrogi

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal…

Bob is a lawyer, veteran legal journalist, and award-winning blogger and podcaster. In 2011, he was named to the inaugural Fastcase 50, honoring “the law’s smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries and leaders.” Earlier in his career, he was editor-in-chief of several legal publications, including The National Law Journal, and editorial director of ALM’s Litigation Services Division. At LexBlog, he oversees LexBlog.com, the global legal news and commentary network.