It’s pretty clear that McCarthy Tétrault has built blogging into the firm culture. More than half of their lawyers are involved in running their 18 blogs, and that’s before you add in people who are just contributors.

McCarthy Tétrault has always been a firm that produces a lot of content. And according to Thomas Barbieri, manager of clients and markets at the firm, it all comes back to the lawyers’ enthusiasm.

“The lawyers haive a lot of agency, they run the blogs,” said Barbieri. “The lawyers have been really great about running their blogs, they see the importance of it. And so we guide them at the beginning of the process—‘here’s some things that have worked for others in the past’—but it’s up to you to run your own show.”

Lawyers at the firm have always seen the benefit—partially because the firm makes sure they do. According to Barbieri, every time a new blog is launched there’s recognition from the firm leadership and throughout practice areas that blogging is an important way to reach out to the market.

It’s that sort of thinking that got Brandon Kain, editor in chief of the Canadian Appeals Monitor, to see blogging as an obvious step when the McCarthy appellate group first formed.

“A blog is a little bit less intrusive [than an email blast]; you’re not necessarily sending content to a bunch of people. It’s more of a volunteer process if they want to read your content or not. And it attracts a bit of a snowball effect; people become interested in reading your blog, those people coming together of their own volition means they’re more interested than an email blast,” said Kain.

Blogging also presented an opportunity to help readers sort through information that was relevant to them, while still seeing a broader scope: The appellate group obviously touches on a lot of practice areas beyond their own. Using a blog to highlight that—and cross-posting between blogs—gives readers the chance to see their legal issues beyond simple intellectual property and business problems. Now they could see their legal team wrestling with the macro and micro of these issues.

It’s also helped lawyers communicate their multi-faceted practices better. Kirsten Thompson leads the firm’s cybersecurity, privacy, and data protection group. She’s also editor in chief of the CyberLex blog, which she says goes beyond simple cybersecurity issues.

“We wanted to demonstrate to the world that we did this first, we did this best, and we were big thinkers. We didn’t just have a privacy blog and a tech blog, but we were pulling it all together and thinking about these things,” said Thompson. “It was both to narrow it and expand it…[Data is really one of these increasingly critical assets that reflect a new way of thinking about a business. The blog showcases something else we do: we’re not just a law firm, increasingly we are strategic advisors.”

And that display of insight is something that’s appealed to readers, and turned readers into clients. Barbieri says he’s heard a lot of lawyers who have won business from blog posts, or been contacted very shortly after publication about questions on the exact topic they wrote on.

“It’s not always that they say ‘if you weren’t writing I wouldn’t hire you,’ but basically said I know clients seem to like working with someone they know is working and wrestling with these issues. There’s trust built in that this person knows what they’re talking about,” said Barbieri. “I think showing your clients or prospective clients that you are a person who is thinking about issues they care about is important. And it’s a good way to differentiate yourself in a busy marketplace.”

In that sense, Thompson believes it’s helpful that these blogs clearly are in the hands of lawyers, not marketers. It keeps them heavily invested in the success of the publication, and helps them broaden their own professional experience as well.

“It forces you to sit down and think about the issues, develop your own expertise,” said Thompson.

And Kain says that development is a clear benefit for attorneys at all levels.

“It’s a really good profile building tool, particularly for junior lawyers looking for ways to get an in with their superiors or potentially connect with clients,” said Kain. “They can display their current legal knowledge—for the firm, but also more generally. They can have a foothold in a margin, and just display expertise in those areas.”

Especially when they have access to analytics. It’s more complicated than just using Google Analytics; using all the metrics at their disposal they can see that people are really reading, connecting with their content, and they’re sharing that good will within the company. And so, that enthusiasm about blogging builds.

Though sometimes, it helps when there’s a little vying going on.

“It’s collaborative and highly competitive,” said Thompson. “We watch each others’ stats closely…And if they hit a certain number of reads they qualify for a bottle [of alcohol]. A thousand reads gets a gift card. We call that the Hemingway Award.”