This edition of ‘5 Questions’ features 6 questions. That’s because we have an extra special guest, my good friend: Dane Ciolino, a New Orleans lawyer and law professor. Before moving into academia, Dane spent time as a law clerk to a federal trial judge and worked in two law firms: Cravath, Swaine & Moore (in New York) and Stone Pigman Walther Wittmann (in New Orleans). His complete bio is online here.
Dane’s area of concentration is legal ethics, and he has written a book on the subject for Louisiana lawyers: Louisiana Legal Ethics: Standards and Commentary (available on Amazon). Dane also sends out a monthly email newsletter, and—of course—he has a blog: lalegalethics.org.
Dane represents Louisiana lawyers involved in disciplinary matters, and so his blog is useful, not only to discuss new legal ethics cases, but also as a way of getting new legal work.
1. What blogging platform do you use, and how expensive and how hard was it to set up your blog?
I use WordPress, hosted by GoDaddy.com. I originally had help from a web developer because I had never heard of WordPress. I probably paid him $500.00. Now I’m quite proficient in WordPress and have since switched over to a new theme with new plug-ins. I can now set up WordPress sites on my own.
2. Why do you favor WordPress over other options?
Simple: I know nothing else. It is also the industry leader. In all things technology, I like to go with the industry leader unless there is a compelling reason to do otherwise.
3. How hard is it to come up with ideas for blog posts, and how long does it usually take?
Moderately difficult. The best way to do it is to subscribe to RSS and Twitter feeds of other bloggers and posters. My site is state specific, so I can take a legal ethics development in another jurisdiction and discuss its implications in Louisiana. That is a pretty simple formula for content generation.
4. You use MailChimp to deliver your blog posts to email subscribers on a monthly basis. Tell us why you use an email list in conjunction with your blog.
I was skeptical at first about the need for a mailing list. I get all of my blog information through RSS feeds, using Feedly. However, many people don’t know anything about RSS and only do email. Those people can be reached regularly only through mailing list functionality, like that provided by MailChimp.
5. What is the most surprising thing you’ve experienced as a result of having a law-related blog?
How many people actually read the posts, and what they are interested in reading. Sometimes, what I think is important is ignored. It appears that most of my readers are interested in reading interesting stories, first and foremost.
6. Has your blog resulted in new business, and if so, why do you think it helps get new clients?
Definitely. The blog and mail list get my name and area of expertise in front of thousands of lawyers every month. After a mail list blast, the phone rings. That’s a pretty clear link.