WisLawNOW FAQ

 Frequently Asked Questions

 What is WisLawNOW? 

WisLawNOW, established by the State Bar of Wisconsin in partnership with LexBlog, is a community of Wisconsin legal bloggers whose blogs are aggregated through an RSS feed. Once your blog becomes part of WisLawNOW, your original blog posts will feed into WisLawNOW, an online platform that displays all participating blogs. 

In other words, blogs will be syndicated on the WisLawNOW network, where legal bloggers can reach a wider audience of readers and help build their reputations in various areas of law.

Readers can read the blog posts on WisLawNOW, which includes profile pages for the author, firm, and blog. Blogs are categorized and archived by channel so readers can navigate to legal blogs in specific practice areas or by specific topics. To get a better sense of WisLawNOW, take a look at IllinoisLawyerNOW, a similar service offered by the Illinois State Bar Association.

What is LexBlog?

LexBlog Inc. offers legal blogging solutions to lawyers, law firms and other organizations and maintains a legal blogging network of more than 25,000 legal bloggers worldwide, the LexBlog Network. LexBlog’s fully-managed team also creates custom blogging solutions for bloggers and organizations. 

WisLawNOW is a custom blogging network created by LexBlog to help the State Bar of Wisconsin showcase legal bloggers who are members of the State Bar of Wisconsin. WisLawNOW is a professional platform designed by LexBlog that is optimized for mobile devices and social media, and includes other features that allow WisLawNOW bloggers to easily access a larger audience and showcase their own content.

Why should I participate?

Many Wisconsin lawyers are already blogging publishing about legal developments and providing analysis on their own publishing platforms. They are publishing content through blogs on law firm websites, or independent blogging platforms such as WordPress. WisLawNOW allows those bloggers to amplify their content.

WisLawNOW aggregates those legal blogs together, through an online platform, to create a network for Wisconsin law bloggers to showcase and leverage their content and their legal expertise. 

In essence, WisLawNOW allows Wisconsin legal bloggers to amplify the blogs they are already writing, creates a community of legal bloggers, and allows readers to access all Wisconsin legal blogs in one place.

WisLawNOW readers will gain more insight on what’s happening in Wisconsin’s legal world, from lawyers who are practicing in the trenches and following the legal issues in real-time. WisLawNOW will link back to original blog posts, and will include profile pages for the author, firm, and the blog. 

If you are a State Bar of Wisconsin member and you publish a legal blog, you can join to have your blog reposted in WisLawNOW. If the blog meets technical requirements and the inclusion criteria, it will be automatically reposted through the RSS feed. There’s no extra work, and no cost to you.

In addition, your blog may be included in a WisLawNOW digest that will be emailed periodically to all State Bar of Wisconsin members who choose to receive it. 

Is my blog eligible for inclusion in WisLawNOW?

Currently, legal blogs are eligible for inclusion in WisLawNOW if the author of the blog is a State Bar of Wisconsin member or the blog’s primary contributors are State Bar of Wisconsin members. Blog posts must include a byline of the author to determine if the blog post was written by a State Bar of Wisconsin member.

Blog posts must also meet the Blog Post Inclusion Criteria.  An initial review of the blog, as a whole, will be conducted to determine if the blog is eligible. To be included, your blog must have an RSS feed and meet other technical requirements. LexBlog can work with potential bloggers to ensure the blog meets technical requirements.

How do I sign up to be included?

Members are invited to submit their blogs by filling out a short online form. After filling out the form, the blog will be reviewed for technical requirements and other eligibility requirements noted. 

Blogs meeting all inclusion requirements will be added to WisLawNOW and its content will automatically appear there whenever the blog is updated, through the RSS feed.

How do I improve the likelihood of my blog post being highlighted on WisLawNOW?

All blogs eligible for inclusion in WisLawNOW will be displayed, but some blogs may be elevated by placement on the network or through WisLawNOW’s email digest. State Bar of Wisconsin editors will review blogs and make placement decisions. 

  • Substantive, significant, and timely legal information of wider interest is more likely to be highlighted. Blogs that regularly publish are more likely to have timely and relevant information of interest to broad segments of State Bar of Wisconsin members and other readers.
  • Blogs that contain artwork, such as stock photographs and other images, add visual interest, drawing reader attention to your blog.  The recommended image specification is 1200 by 630 pixels. However, posts are not required to contain artwork in order to be highlighted. The State Bar may choose to add images to select blogs to make WisLawNOW visually appealing to readers.
  • Correctly formatted posts. Titles should be short, specific, clear, and attention-getting. Ideally, limit your blog post to no more than 600 words, but longer posts are certainly welcome.

Why was my blog removed?

As the host of WisLawNOW, the State Bar of Wisconsin reserves the right to remove any blog posts at the State Bar of Wisconsin’s sole discretion. The State Bar of Wisconsin is not required to provide reasons for removing any blog post. In general, however, blog posts that do not meet the State Bar of Wisconsin’s Blog Post Inclusion Criteria may be denied or removed.

Who do I contact for additional questions?

Technical support: Peter Kraemer, digital communications coordinator, pkraemer@wisbar.org

General questions: Joe Forward, legal writer, jforward@wisbar.org

 

Blog Post Inclusion Criteria

WisLawNOW is a syndicated legal blogging community for legal bloggers who are State Bar of Wisconsin members. It is intended to feature topics related to the practice of law, including substantive and procedural legal developments, analysis of legislation or regulatory change, practice management and technology issues, lawyer ethics, lawyer wellbeing, and other topics that relate to the work of Wisconsin lawyers.

The State Bar of Wisconsin manages WisLawNOW and encourages posts that are timely, of broad interest, well-written, and provide helpful, neutral, and objective analysis. At the same time, the State Bar of Wisconsin reserves the right to remove posts that are:

  • Self-promoting. For instance, blog posts about a lawyer’s promotion within the firm or other organization are not appropriate for WisLawNOW. Press releases about a firm, an award, or other accolade are not appropriate.
  • Advertisements. Blogs should not promote continuing legal education (CLE) offerings, products, or services other than those produced, offered, or provided by State Bar of Wisconsin PINNACLE® or other State Bar of Wisconsin groups (See State Bar of Wisconsin advertising opportunities).
  • Political. Blog posts in WisLawNOW must not espouse partisan political view, contain political commentary, or constitute an endorsement of a candidate for public office. Blog posts that advocate for a particular position or outcome on legislative/regulatory policy or pending litigation may be removed.  However, this provision does not prohibit neutral posts that discuss and analyze legislative or regulatory proposals. 
  • Offensive. Blog posts containing defamatory, abusive, threatening, or offensive language are not appropriate and will be removed.
  • Code of Conduct and Copyright. Blog posts are also subject to review under WisLawNOW’s Code of Conduct and Terms of Service, which include copyright notices. As a general guide, if a blog post quotes material from another publication, it should be quoted exactly. Material taken from another publication must be credited to the original author, whether quoted or abstracted. 

The State Bar of Wisconsin reserves the right to remove any post from WisLawNOW if it deems in its sole discretion that it does not meet the above Blog Post Inclusion Criteria, or for whatever reason, does not deem the blog post appropriate for WisLawNOW.