As I said earlier this week when we kicked off this blog, our goal is to publish a series of posts in which we at LexBlog share our insights and advice around starting, maintaining and building a blog.
But it seemed that the best way to start was not for us to tell you why you should blog. Instead, I thought it would be of more value for you to hear directly from legal bloggers about why they blog. So I put out a call. What follows is a selection of the responses I received.
As you will see, there are common themes to why these professionals blog. They see it as a way to connect and engage with clients and colleagues. They see it as a way to inform and educate. They see it as a way to explore and reflect on issues of importance. They see it as a way to develop their own expertise.
But as you will also see, at least one who responded has soured on blogging. And there is a lesson in that as well. Blogging is not for everyone, and starting a blog need not be a lifelong commitment.
Daniel A. Schwartz
Connecticut Employment Law Blog
I worked on my college newspaper extensively and wondered what would’ve happened if I chose journalism instead of law as my profession. As time passed on, I realized that law didn’t provide the outlet to writing that I missed in my life. Back in 2007, I thought I was “late” to the blogging game but started writing. I hoped to elevate my profile in the state. And I secretly was envious of the op-ed writers in The New York Times who make a career out of it. But why do I continue? I had been asking myself that question in the last year or two. Frankly, my writing had started to drop off as I was less inspired to write for the first time. How was I still adding value to the conversation? But the pandemic has made my writing feel more inspired than ever. And I’ve heard from people that they still look forward to my posts because of both my personal anecdotes and insights. It still connects me to clients and other lawyers in a way a tweet can’t. How long will I continue? Until it stops being enjoyable. I thought that day was starting to appear on the horizon but lately I’m grateful for the opportunities and the outlet it provides. I’ve met so many amazing friends because of it. That is a feature that I never thought possible.
Blogging allows and encourages me to connect with the courts and the profession, to have a voice and a presence, and to enjoy the creativity that curating and writing afford me entirely on my own. Blogging is the 21st century “room of one’s own” for me professionally. I envisioned becoming engaged in depth with the U.S. Supreme Court and First Amendment issues a decade ago while working in a position that allowed me to go to the Court, to work on briefs submitted to the Court, participating in moot courts before oral arguments, all of which provided kindling for my blog. This is another satisfaction, to have an idea, then a vision, and then to execute that vision, to make it real. I keep at it because I keep getting rewarded with praise and interest, because it keeps me alert to new developments, and because I am creating a repository of case materials for future reference.
The Coronavirus Immigration Blog
I’ve had many blogs over the years. It’s a really efficient way for me to keep people posted on developments in my field and the integration with social media also makes it very easy to get content to a lot of people. It’s also a way for me to have my own record of what’s going on and with the latest seismic shift in immigration law related to COVID-19, I’m frequently scanning my blog archives to remind me of how things are currently working.
The Traklight Blog
I blog to provide information and to help small businesses and individuals minimize risk. The added benefit is that I learn along the way. Traklight’s blog stated back in 2011 when I was working on the software development and started writing on the intersection of the law and business, specifically for intellectual property. From there when the new website launched in 2014, and I had a marketing team, we blogged every day which was not sustainable! Quality is more important than volume but a consistent posting schedule is key.
Patrick Anam – International Trade Lawyer
I blog about trade law and trade policy in Africa. I do so to inform and start a conversation on how African countries can take part in the global trade policy arena .As Africa grows, it needs to take advantage of the various international trade agreements and decisions , which I blog about.
Tower of Babel
I started blogging because it was a way to formalize many of the thoughts and reactions I had to what I was reading and experiencing around legaltech and legal innovation. I realized that I was often unsatisfied by a short tweet – I wanted ongoing dialogue, to contribute meaningfully to the conversation. What I’ve found through blogging is that writing also allows me to think logically through an issue, to dig deeper and understand what is at the heart of it. Much of what I read is fairly shallow – people reporting on news rather than analyzing it, and I thought there was a place for greater reflection on our industry. I also have great interest in topics that no one else seemed to be writing about, so I decided to start writing on those subjects myself. Notably, the globalization of legaltech and the way it’s evolving across the world in different ways is something that fascinates me. Too much of what we read is focused only on the United States and the UK. I’m about to start a series of regional snapshots that will address that imbalance, with regular posts exploring the development of legaltech in different countries around the world.
Colin S. Levy
Notes from the Front Lines of Legal Innovation
I blog to achieve two key goals. One goal is to share my thoughts on what it means to practice law and the changing definition of what it means to practice law. Another goal is to help inform and educate others, via interviews of individuals who are themselves innovating through either technology, process, or both. I seek to highlight through my blog the evolving relationship between legal innovation and legal technology and to dispel many of the persistent myths around both topics. The blog serves as both a resource for myself and for others. I see it as one way to help change the culture of legal and push the profession to become more entrepreneurial and more client-centric.
I blog to develop my expertise. More than 20 years ago, I set myself the task of creating a comprehensive set of guidelines for the building blocks of contract language. If I’ve largely completed that task, it’s thanks to my blog, which I started in mid-2006. My posts serve as a first draft of material that ends up in my book A Manual of Style for Contract Drafting, now in its fourth edition. Reader comments have improved my understanding of my subject. And without the discipline that comes with having to feed the blog beast, my work would be much flimsier.
I also blog to shine a light on the freakish dysfunction of traditional contract drafting. That requires grabbing the reader’s attention without being a jerk—sometimes that can be challenging! I’m under no illusion that such polemic will change the world anytime soon, but it’s enough for me that I reach those open to an alternative to the dysfunction.
I’m sure I’ve gotten business through my blog, but if that were my primary reason for blogging, I would have thrown in the towel long ago.
The Legal Blog
I created Sagacity Legal with the mission of reinventing the way lawyers interact, share knowledge, and guide small businesses to protect their passion. “The Legal Blog” is a primary component of achieving that mission. I know that navigating the legal pathways of the business world is tough. That’s why I’ve made it my job to help my blog readers secure their business success by providing easy to understand legal guidance in a supportive environment. Combining extensive experience both as a corporate attorney and small business owner, I guide my blog readers through the legal risks they’ll face now and in the future, so they can focus their time and efforts on the value, expertise, and experience they bring to their business. I use my blog to create an awareness and provide practical real world guidance of the legal risks my readers face now and in the future. The more small businesses and entrepreneurs I reach, the more people I can help. Since launching “The Legal Blog”, I have seen the impact. Whether just starting out or an established company, small business owners share their gratitude for my blog content. That alone makes every day worthwhile for me.
Irwin R. Kramer
The Lawyer’s Lawyer
With a practice devoted to the defense of attorneys facing disciplinary charges, this blog is designed to help my readers avoid a painful process that threatens their careers, livelihoods and standing in the community. By sharing insights from my cases, this blog provides practical guidance on practice management, managing fees and finances, client relations, and other ways to avoid risk and to establish rewarding and satisfying legal careers. We all work very hard to serve the best interest of our clients. I believe we must pay equal attention to creating productive practices that serve our best interests as well.
The Legal Satyricon
I started simply because it was fun. Everyone who did it back then did it for the same reason. It created a community of people who thought law was something enjoyable to write about, cross reference, and engage in multi-blog debates. It was marketplace of ideas in action, and it was a bit daring in a land where big firms discouraged it.
There was a lot of value in it then. I have dropped off, a lot, because it is not so much fun now. The field has become polluted and a lot of what you got out of it has been replaced by social media interaction.
I don’t see as much value anymore. It never was a road to riches. It got you a lot of calls from crackpots and people who wanted free legal advice. But, it was fun. It really isn’t fun anymore.