In an initiative intended to provide better access to and visibility for the insights and commentary published on legal blogs, LexBlog, a company that provides professional blogs and turnkey digital publishing solutions for law firms and legal organizations, has launched the Open Legal Blog Archive.
The archive aims to be a centralized database of all credible legal blog posts worldwide, and accompanying metadata, accessible via the web, RSS feeds, and an API.
Speaking with me on the podcast This Week in Legal Blogging, Kevin O’Keefe, founder and CEO of LexBlog, explained that the amount of insight and commentary that is being published on legal blogs exceeds that of law reviews and law journals, but that, until now, there has been no organized way to search, index, archive, and cite this content.
The archive is intended to be used by legal professionals to research commentary and analysis published on blogs, while also providing greater visibility for those blogs and the legal professionals who publish them.
The contents of the archive are free to search and will always remain so, O’Keefe said. It currently contains more than 1,800 legal blogs written by more than 31,000 blog authors.
The content of the archive will also be available for syndication by bar associations, continuing education organizations, law schools, and others, using LexBlog’s Syndication Journals, a product that creates custom, turnkey publications based on aggregated content from multiple sources.
That syndication piece is critical for making this content widely available to the legal profession, O’Keefe believes. He points to Illinois, where the state bar hosts Illinois Lawyer Now, publishing blog posts from a wide array of Illinois lawyers in a single place, and to the legal research service vLex, which he says now has more than a half million pieces of insight and commentary from legal blogs included within its research platform.
While the archive will benefit those who read and research blogs, it will also benefit blog publishers by raising their profiles, O’Keefe says. Having their content in the more-structured environment of an archive will make it more accessible to a broader audience.
In addition, syndication of that content through special-focus sites, such as a state bar site or a site focused on a specific legal topic, can underscore an author’s expertise and credibility, he say.
The archive is available at LexBlog.com, or through LexBlog’s syndication partners, who currently consist of:
- Illinois State Bar Association with Illinois Lawyer Now.
- State Bar of Texas with Texas Bar Today.
- California Continuing Education of the Bar (CEB) with Golden State Lawyer.
- vLex, with law covering over 100 countries, has incorporated the archive feed for research and AI.
- State Bar of Wisconsin with WisLawNOW.
- State Bar of Arizona with Arizona Attorney Daily.
- FastCase, serving more than 900,000 legal professionals, has incorporated the archive feed for research and AI.
Legal professionals interested in adding their blogs to the archive can go the submission page and answer a few questions. To be included, blogs must offer legal news, insight or analysis, and they may not include advertising. Other requirements are detailed on the submission page.
[Disclosure: I am a former employee of LexBlog and I continue to perform certain paid services for the company.]