Tuesday, January 25, 2005

Moral Obligation: Run That by Me Again (#2)

This afternoon Kevin O'Keefe sent a challenge into legal quarters by implying that lawyers have a moral obligation to blog. Excuse me? Yes. A moral obligation.

Just to head some critique off at-the-pass, I am a fan of what Kevin is accomplishing over at Lexblog. He is up front, on point, and a "true believer" in the power of marketing and blogging. And he is an evangelist for community discussion. I just can't get behind his eloquent argument of moral obligation.

A definition I've worked with is: 'By moral obligation we understand some sort of necessity, imposed on the will, of doing what is good and avoiding what is evil.' By that definition I would agree that attorneys are bound to do what is right by the people they serve, to represent themselves and conduct themselves in a manner above reproach. I will hope, with Kevin, that attorneys went to law school with a greater good in mind but also believe moral obligation does not extend quite as far as being a free resource to all.

In a scenario of complete sharing by obligation, anyone with knowledge unknown to others is obliged to share, thereby removing a catalyst for fee-based professional services. On the other hand, using a learned knowledge to accomplish what is right on behalf of another person does fall under moral obligation.

To Kevin's implication; should lawyers blog? You bet. Wouldn't it be great if we all understood the power of knowledge and how we can leverage what we know to be both good advise and good marketing. I support Kevin in promoting the notion that all attorneys should be sharing their knowledge. Kevin believes you’re morally obligated, I believe you’re fiscally obligated.

One way or another, if you’re not blogging yet; What is your deal?