Some of you heard me rant about West Publishing Company during the recent Justice Programs seminar. Well, here are a couple great posts about West’s pollution of the blawgosphere.
The controversy arose when Findlaw launched "The New York Personal Injury Law Blog" years after a wonderful blog by the same name was started by Eric Turkewitz.
Here is an excerpt from The Legal Satryricon:
One thing about knock offs — they are usually crappy and cheap imitations of the original. Findlaw’s blog is no exception. The writing on the knock off is crappy and bland, informs you of nothing, provides zero value, and is just so many wasted pixels screaming out to the search engines “PLEEEEASE READ MY ADS!”
Findlaw ripped off Turkewitz. Not only that, but they ripped him off in a really bland and lame way, and they ripped him off to support a complete piece of shit business model. If you think a Findlaw ad is the way to market your law practice, maybe you should think about their business ethics, business judgment, and what it says about you as a lawyer.
Eric’s thoughts come through on this excerpt of one of his posts on the issue:
To be clear, dreck-bloggers aren’t interested in creating good content, they simply regurgitate local accident or arrest stories and place a call-to-action link at the bottom. Posts are filled with buzzwords to game Google that, if coupled with the call-to-action for a recent event, places them firmly in the camp of Solicitation 2.0, a subject I dealt with two years ago. Put bluntly, many of these dung-blogs are electronically soliciting clients. E-chasing, for lack of a better word.
Last but not least, here is Kevin O’Keefe’s view:
FindLaw’s conduct is beneath everything we have the right to expect from companies serving the legal profession. Rather than conduct itself in a way that improves the image of lawyers and upholds the dignity of our profession, FindLaw gets down in the gutter so it can sell marketing services to lawyers who have not a clue what FindLaw is doing to trash our profession. A profession in which West Publishing once played a proud role.
Boy has a first class legal publishing company once held in esteem by lawyers, judges, and law schools fallen. All in the name of greed.