No longer viewed as just forums for law gossip or associate griping, blogs are becoming a marketing tool for large law firms eager to create a buzz about their practice areas.

Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton of Los Angeles, Davis Wright Tremaine of Seattle, McGlinchey Stafford of New Orleans and other big firms have unveiled blogs recently that focus on particular areas of the law or specific statutes. Some blogs include open discussions that allow reader comments, while others are less interactive.