Wilmer Hale has leaped ahead of everyone with the recent launch of four associate blogs aimed at attracting recruits. In a brilliant move, the firm enlisted 4 associates in 4 different offices to officially blog about their life inside the firm and out. The Blog of LegalTimes reports:

They are meant to provide a glimpse into each associates life. Heather Hayes, Wilmer’s legal personnel and recruiting communications manager say recruits “want to have a good sense of what their life might be like were they to join us.” She says summer associates and other entry-level recruits often complain that it’s tough to distinguish one big firm from another. Hayes says the new blogs will hopefully help “personalize” Wilmer.

A quick review of the 4 blogs tells me she’s spot on. Here are posts from 2. You can see all four at WilmerHale Careers.

Kevin Chambers’ Blog | Washington
Home Ownership and Workload Balance
August 22, 2008 11:59 AM
It’s amazing how much I’ve changed during the course of our blogship. When first we met last month, I was a care-free attorney mixing it up in Washington, DC Today, I am a bona fide homeowner. Fortunately (at least for buyers) the DC real estate market has softened somewhat. Sorry, Ross [link to Ross’s real estate post] and we were able to find a home that we loved in a great neighborhood. The commute into the office will be longer, but that’s the price you pay when you move to the ‘burbs, I suppose. Consider yourself invited to our first cookout. What’s that you say? I haven’t really changed at all? Well I have a recently-delivered SkeeterVac box in my office that says you don’t know what you’re talking about. For you urban denizens, a SkeeterVac is a device powered by propane and, quite possibly, magic that attracts, vacuums and dehydrates (read: exterminates) mosquitoes, allowing one to reclaim a backyard. Brilliant! Or bunk. I’m not yet sure.

A few posts back I mentioned that I was balancing a considerable workload involving two of my larger matters. A third, long-dormant matter must have felt left out because it has risen from the grave and is now running full-tilt. A governmental agency has asked for a substantial amount of information and wants it in a week. Feel free to consider that my excuse for being absent from the blog for so long. As one of my colleagues put it, while the matter is burning pretty hot, we hope it won’t burn long. ……[more]

Julie Smolinski’s Blog | Palo Alto
Of Waves and Financings
August 15, 2008 09:22 AM
Posted by Julie Smolinski
Not to make my fellow NY blogger jealous, but getting to the beach from Palo Alto, or San Francisco if you live there, as many of my colleagues do, is a pretty easy matter. Sunday was a gorgeous, sunny day, so my husband and I decided to head to the ocean. Within an hour of making the decision to go to the beach, we were staring at the impressive expanse of the Pacific, feet in the sand. The water was cold, but the sun was warm. As my husband analyzed the quality of the waves—barrels everywhere, short and sweet, but too cold, I listened to them breaking on the beach. On our way back, we hit up Alice’s, a well-loved burger spot in the redwoods. Just thinking about it makes me hungry … grilled veggie burger (excellent, even for you non-veggie types), fries (watch out, when they say “garlic fries”, they really mean it), locally brewed beer, cheesecake … Mmmm!

But instead of telling you about my gluttonous Sunday night, perhaps you’d prefer to know what’s up at work, because, after all, that’s presumably what you care about if you’re reading this blog. I really hope you’re not reading it for entertainment, in which case I’d like to suggest some other activities you may find fun and exciting, e.g., ironing your socks, alphabetizing the items in your refrigerator, or watching C-SPAN. So, this week has been about three financings: closing a bridge financing, diligencing a Series-E round and running a Series A………[more]

I think this idea really has potential to replace the tired old attorney bio! You’ll notice that each blogger profile reads like a mini bio but you could also link out to something more traditional if you needed to, but essentially, the blog tells the story. Wouldn’t that be cool. Of course, the idea is not for everyone, but I think it could work. Really. More firms are using video clips to personalize recruiting or their messages from the chairman, but, while videos are nice they often seem scripted and too long. I like the immediacy and transparency of the blog idea.

Anybody out there think the same? Would it work? How far would you take it? What would or would you not do? If I were seeking representation for my business, I’d lean toward a firm where the attorney’s voice was personalized and the first line of impression.

Over 10 years ago I convinced the firm I was working for to incorporate real quotes from the attorneys into their bios, [example] {Example} talking, in their own voice, about why they practice law and what they do for their clients, etc. Today it’s become pretty commonplace to have the attorney quote on a Web bio. And I know it is effective. Clients and prospects have told me they remembered them. And just the other day, I heard about one progressive firm that is planning to write the whole attorney bio in first person. Nice touch. This type of breezy personal/professional blog on a firm Web site is perhaps even better. What do you think?