Psakalakis & Saam have it right at Lunch Hour Legal Marketing. Couldn’t have said it better myself:

Blogging used to be the crème de la crème for getting your content to the masses, but somewhere along the way, something changed. Too many blogs traded in engaging, thoughtful posts for years-long spoutings of “marketing drivel,” as Conrad so aptly puts it. But, blogging isn’t dead, and you can learn to do it right.

Scientific American has a good summary of what the Biden Executive Order says–and doesn’t say. Their bottom line:

Finally, the executive order on its own is insufficient for tackling all the problems posed by advancing AI. Executive orders are inherently limited in their power and can be easily reversed. Even the order itself calls on Congress to pass data privacy legislation. “There is a real importance for legislative action going down the road,” Ho says. King agrees. “We need specific private sector legislation for multiple facets of AI regulation,” she says.

Still, every expert Scientific American spoke or corresponded with about the order described it as a meaningful step forward that fills a policy void. The European Union has been publicly working to develop the E.U. AI Act, which is close to becoming law, for years now. But the U.S. has failed to make similar strides. With this week’s executive order, there are efforts to follow and shifts on the horizon—just don’t expect them to come tomorrow. The policy, King says, “is not likely to change people’s everyday experiences with AI as of yet.”

Is there such a thing as the law of war, or is the phrase an oxymoron?

The Law of War, better described as International Humanitarian Law (IHL) or Law of Armed Conflict, (LOAC) is very real, though difficult for most lawyers to understand or research. There are no codified statutes or well-organized case law of the types familiar to most U.S. researchers:

  • The primary basis of international law is a patchwork of complex treaties. They are binding only on nations that have ratified them.
  • There are precedents, but rather than a system of U.S.-style case law, neatly arrayed by jurisdiction, there is a set of sometimes poorly defined or disputed concepts known as “customary international law.” These are defined as “rules of law derived from the consistent conduct of States acting out of the belief that the law required them to act that way.”

The Hamas-Israel conflict highlights the importance of IHL. Misunderstandings prevail, often fueled by poor journalism.

My article, Research Guide: Law of Armed Conflict is the lead article in the LLRX.com October issue. This is the first article in the LLRX.com’s Hamas/Israel Conflict Project. I’m working on related articles now & will announce here as they are published.

Why do I host this blog (and in fact this entire website) at Lexblog? Because it is the best platform for lawyer/bloggers. It’s probably also one of the best choices for general website development, since it does a great job of integrating the industry-leading WordPress platform.

Why is Lexblog the best? Too many reasons to list all today, but here’s one: The highest quality of user support. I’ve won many awards for legal writing and been blogging for a quarter century. Nevertheless, this concise summary of how to write text for the web is a great reminder of keys to success. I’ll take the liberty of reposting this sample from the Lexblog support archive:

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About post formatting

When writing a post, properly formatting the text will help increase its readability. Effective titles, body formatting, and imagery all contribute to visitors reading and sharing your content. This article explains post formatting.

Click the link at the bottom of this article to download The Perfect Blog Post reference sheet (PDF).

General guidelines

  • Put your most important takeaways in the first two paragraphs. On the web, readers don’t always get to the bottom of a page.
  • Limit your posts to around 300 to 600 words. If you have more to write, consider splitting the text into multiple posts.
  • Use headings, bullets, and lists to break up your text. Readers skip over content when they encounter a wall of text.

Post titles

Effective post titles are short, specific, and clear.

  • Limit titles to 55 characters. Search engines and social media platforms may cut off long titles in their displays.
  • Include the post focus keyword in the first half of the title.
  • Be clear about subject of your post. The topic should be immediately understandable.

Opening paragraph

Capture the reader’s attention and entice them to read more. Put your most important takeaways in the introduction. The opening paragraph may display in search results.

When writing your opening, try:

Body text formatting

Structuring text can make your posts easier to read. Format your post body to account for how people read text on the web.

Body structure

Format your text to make it easier for readers to scan your content for the information they need.

  • Use headings to organize related paragraphs. Headings should be short and clear.
  • Add a space between a paragraph and a new heading.
  • Limit your paragraphs to four or five sentences.
  • Limit sentences to 25 words.
  • Use bullets to list out related items.

Text formatting

  • Keep your text left-aligned. Centered and justified text is harder to read.
  • Don’t use bold and italics to add emphasis, as too much formatting interferes with readability.
  • Add links to sources. Do not add footnotes; a blog is not an academic journal.

Imagery

We recommend setting a Featured Image for your post. The image will display above your post title and won’t interfere with any text alignment.

If you do add an image to the post body, avoid wrapping text around it. Wrapped text is difficult to read and may not appear correctly on mobile screens or email campaigns.

Conclusion

  • Summarize your ideas.
  • Invite readers to add their comments and questions to the post.

We’ll take a break today from our usual commercial programming and go off the clock to address a timely and critical topic. I’m writing some articles on in the Israel/Hamas conflict for use in an LLRX.com project. The first will be an aid for researching the law of armed conflict.

As the influential British apostle of innovation Richard Susskind has pointed out, clients don’t want a hammer. They want a chair. What you do (or like to do) as a lawyer is not necessarily what your clients expect or want.

Design Your Law Practice Book

Design thinking is a systematic approach to rethinking your business approach with the goal of finding and implementing new and better ways to operate. For lawyers, a large part of this is changing from “thinking like a lawyer” to “thinking like a client.”

Interested in making your law firm more efficient (i.e., more profitable)? You could do a lot worse than checking out Design Your Law Practice: Using Design Thinking To Get Next Level Results. Jessica Bednarz, Catherine Sanders Reach and Juda Strawczynski, Editors. (American Bar Association 2023). Available direct from the publisher or via Amazon.

NPR is reporting that the NY Times is considering legal action against Open AI, the maker of ChatGPT:


For weeks, the Times and the maker of ChatGPT have been locked in tense negotiations over reaching a licensing deal in which OpenAI would pay the Times for incorporating its stories in the tech company’s AI tools, but the discussions have become so contentious that the paper is now considering legal action. . . .

A top concern for the Times is that ChatGPT is, in a sense, becoming a direct competitor with the paper by creating text that answers questions based on the original reporting and writing of the paper’s staff. 

It’s a fear heightened by tech companies using generative AI tools in search engines. Microsoft, which has invested billions into OpenAI, is now powering its Bing search engine with ChatGPT. 

If, when someone searches online, they are served a paragraph-long answer from an AI tool that refashions reporting from the Times, the need to visit the publisher’s website is greatly diminished, said one person involved in the talks.

Some observers think that disputes like this will be resolved through negotiation with publishers. space. Not likely. Way too many “publishers” out there for this approach to work and no class actions appear feasible to this observer.

The Washington Post provides a good introduction to the legal theories involved and plaintiffs’ chances of success.

One prediction is safe: Turbulence ahead.

With LinkedIn increasing its user numbers dramatically in recent years, understanding the platform is a key to social media success. The Meet Edgar blog has some great ideas about improving your number of LinkedIn Impressions.

Two of their better ideas:

Post Regularly

Consistency is key with any social media platform. If you want to be part of the conversations happening in your industry, then post regularly. When you post regularly and not randomly, the algorithm works in your favor. 

Regular, informative posts help to develop your authority on a topic. Slowly, this will help widen your reach and get more people not only seeing your content but engaging with it too. 

Keep in mind, though, that quality is more important than quantity. Don’t post useless content just for the sake of sharing something that day. 

Batch schedule your posts to save you time and make sure you’re sharing valuable updates and not slapdash, last-minute content you haven’t thought through. 

Social media is supposed to be social! So don’t post your content and disappear. You need to spend some time engaging with others if you want to get your name out there and improve your visibility on the platform. 

Engage With Other Users

Post interesting updates, distribute valuable content (Edgar can help!), ask questions, participate in LinkedIn Groups, and follow and chat with your favorite influencers, connections, and companies. 

In other words, ENGAGE and CONTRIBUTE. This is the best thing you can do for your personal brand AND your company. 

One of the best ways to increase engagement is to tag the names of people who would be interested in a post. Here’s one example from Jer’s workshop.

Of course if these approaches are not enough, you can always sponsor a post, right?

How can you know whether AI is real or hype? One of the best ways is to look for leading indicators:

Who is interested in AI? When you see top pros that you respect taking AI seriously it’s a pretty good sign that you also should take it seriously.

Joan Feldman, for example. Her latest Attorney at Work article analyzes the Thompson Reuters survey report on the impact of AI on legal professionals. Incidentally, the Attorney at Work newsletter is a great way to stay on top of practical developments of interest to practicing lawyers.

Nicole Black has thrown her hat into the ring in an excellent Above the Law article.

Sabrina Pacifici’s continuing project on AI in banking and finance is a must-follow item.

Yep, AI is for real.