Should a law firm blog be incorporated into a website or function as a freestanding entity? That’s a question that’s been asked almost since the beginning of time, with at least two experts – Sam Glover and Kevin O’Keefe endorsing separation for a variety of different reasons.

But now, a recent California ethics decision offers yet another reason for lawyers to maintain their blog’s independence. The California decision addresses whether blogs constitute advertising, and analyzes a couple of different fact patterns.  The California bar concludes that a freestanding blog offering informational or educational materials that is free standing, intended to enhance the lawyer’s education in the community and doesn’t include any “call us now for help” solicitations is not subject to bar advertising rules. By contrast, that same blog, if included as part of a law firm website would be deemed advertising essentially be association and subject to the same regulations as the parent site.