Today, I have the pleasure of sharing a special guest post with you from one of the ILN’s partners, Washington University School of Law’s online LLM program. We’re honored that they’ve partnered with us, and this post from Chelsea Wilson, their Community Relations Manager, has some excellent tips for positioning yourself as a subject matter expert – be sure to take notes! 


A wonderful long-term strategy for marketing yourself and your law practice online is to gain a reputation as a “subject matter expert.” The blogs, websites, and social media profiles of subject matter experts are hubs of information and analysis, and can become go-to outlets for peers, the public, and the press whenever news breaks on a given topic. For that reason, it can be a valuable strategy for raising your profile, and can be an excellent tool for earning new business.


The following seven tips will aid you in your efforts to become a leader in your practice area. If you are dedicated, and you regularly share valuable content, your efforts will pay dividends for many years to come.

1. Create a blog

Having a blog is a huge help in growing your reputation online. Whenever something significant happens in your practice area, your blog is where you should discuss it.

Blogging on current events gives you a chance to demonstrate that you are not only aware of what’s going on in your practice area, but that you are a meaningful part of the conversation about new developments. If you regularly post to your blog, readers (including peers) may eventually come to your blog first to hear the latest news. And if you manage to achieve that, your opinion will become a driver of the discussion in your practice area.

2. Join social networks (and be active!)

Subject matter experts can’t get enough of their chosen topic—they’re always talking about it! And this doesn’t just mean publishing blog post after blog post. Instead, comment on the posts of others and be social on Facebook and Twitter. Tweet new articles, follow esteemed colleagues, participate in chats, and try to answer questions from other users (while being careful about attorney-client relationships and ethical rules).

In essence, be a part of the conversation.

3. Build relationships

You aren’t in this alone. There are others in your field, including attorneys and members of the press that follow your practice area. Cultivate relationships with reporters and other thought leaders—share their posts, interact with them on various outlets, and add your own meaningful insights. Not only will you learn more about your topic, you will appear in more online locations than just the ones you control, raising your profile.

4. Be a player

Those that are truly dedicated to a particular subject tend to participate in firm, bar association, or governmental committees on the topic. While being aware of new developments is great, being at the forefront of them is ideal.

5. Take time to create worthwhile content

When you create content, don’t rush your piece out. Take the time to produce something that is insightful, offers practical advice, or is otherwise truly worthy of being read. Regularity is key, but if too many of your posts are “thin” on useful information, or merely repeat what is already out there, you won’t develop a meaningful readership.

6. Focus on a specific topic

You’ll get the most value out of your efforts if you are in the lead of a small topic, versus being in the middle of the pack on a larger topic. Focus your attention on a particular issue, and become a master of it. For example, “IP” is probably too broad of a subject to tackle and lead. A smaller slice of the topic, such as “International trademark law” might be a better, more manageable niche area that you can climb to the top of.

7. Don’t over-promote

You aren’t online to request business directly—save that for advertisements. Becoming a subject matter expert is about having a deep knowledge of a particular topic and sharing it with others in order to demonstrate thought leadership. Begging for new clients will severely undermine these efforts. Put your work out there, and if it generates leads, consider them bonuses!

Chelsea Wilson is the Community Relations Manager for Washington University School of Law’s online LL.M. degree program, @WashULaw, which provides foreign trained attorneys with the opportunity to earn a Masters in Law degree from a top-tier American university from anywhere in the world. Join the @WashULaw Community on Twitter.

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Photo of Lindsay Griffiths Lindsay Griffiths

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. She is a dynamic, influential international executive and marketing thought leader with a passion for relationship development and authoring impactful content. Griffiths is a driven, strategic leader who implements creative initiatives to achieve the…

Lindsay Griffiths is the International Lawyers Network’s Executive Director. She is a dynamic, influential international executive and marketing thought leader with a passion for relationship development and authoring impactful content. Griffiths is a driven, strategic leader who implements creative initiatives to achieve the goals of a global professional services network. She manages all major aspects of the Network, including recruitment, member retention, and providing exceptional client service to an international membership base.

In her role as Executive Director, Griffiths manages a mix of international programs, engages a diverse global community, and develops an international membership base. She leads the development and successful implementation of major organizational initiatives, manages interpersonal relationships, and possesses executive presence with audiences of internal and external stakeholders. Griffiths excels at project management, organization, and planning, writes and speaks with influence and authority, and works independently while demonstrating flexibility in thinking, especially in challenging situations. She also adapts to diverse and dynamic environments with constant assessment and recalibration.

JD Supra Readers Choice Top Author 2019

In 2021, the ILN was honored as Global Law Firm Network of the Year by The Lawyer European Awards, and in 2016, 2017, and 2022, they were shortlisted as Global Law Firm Network of the Year. Since 2011, the Network has been listed as a Chambers & Partners Leading Law Firm Network, recently increasing this ranking to be included in the top two percent of law firm networks globally, as well as adding two regional rankings. She was awarded “Thought Leader of the Year” by the Legal Marketing Association’s New York chapter in 2014 for her substantive contributions to the industry and was included in Clio’s list of “34 People in Legal You Should Follow on Twitter.” She was also chosen for the American Bar Association Journal’s inaugural Web 100‘s Best Law Blogs, where judge Ivy Grey said “This blog is outstanding, thoughtful, and useful.” Ms. Griffiths was chosen as a Top Author by JD Supra in their 2019 Readers’ Choice Awards, for the level of engagement and visibility she attained with readers on the topic of marketing & business development. She has been the author of Zen & the Art of Legal Networking since February 2009.