Why do lawyers blog?
And now, a moment of introspection: why is blogging such a big issue in the legal business right now? I'm sure there are as many reasons as there are blogging lawyers, but it seems that there are at least a few common ones, in no particular order:
- Because we like to show off what we know. Ever had someone ask a simple question in a social situation and give them back an exhaustive treatise on the state of the law dating back to the Magna Carta? (See if you ever get invited back to that mixer again.) And in a profession where clients pay a lot of money to hire an expert in the field, publishing gives an opportunity to showcase what we know/do.
- To keep up with the Joneses. Blogging has a lot of gravity right now, so it is hard not to pay attention to it. We are compelled to publish because that's what our fellow practitioners are doing, and who wants to fall behind a trend and have to catch up later?
- Free advertising. Members of one of the law-related email groups I joined trade tips on keeping the blog search results high in Google's index. Especially for solos, blogs are another way to get your name out there.
- To prove we are human beings. Let's face it, our profession is not always held in the highest esteem. Q: What do you call a million lawyers at the bottom of the sea? A: A good start. You get my point. Publishing can be a way to share other aspects of your personality besides the hard-nosed pit bull you show in court. Some of my favorite posts on legal blogs are the ones that veer ever so slightly off the professional into the personal - not too much, but enough to know there's a real person behind the curtain.
- To help others. There are a ton of great blogs out there dedicated to helping others become successful. For some wonderful reason God put people on this earth who are not only great at what they do, they want to help others become great too. Two great examples (hard not to use the word "great" so much when describing these folks) are Jonathan Stein of The Practice and Carolyn Elefant of My Shingle.
- Because we don't know what else to do. Here's where my blog fits in. It's a real struggle to get this practice off the ground, with new, difficult questions every day. I figure writing about things will help keep me focused and moving forward. Unplanned but invaluable side effect: awesome feedback and advice from site readers provides far better answers than I could have come up with on my own.
Also wanted to say hi to solowannabee, another blogger in the same boat as I am, trying to start a part-time practice. Please give her a read.