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What can lawyers learn from London's Mumsnet Blogfest?

20121111-210520.jpg “Call them “mummy bloggers” if you must, but don’t underestimate the power of a woman with something to say and a place online to say it,” writes The Guardian’s Tracy McVeigh (@tracymcveigh) reporting on London’s recent Mumsnet Blogfest.

There are a couple lessons blogging lawyers or those considering blogging can take from this group of 300 who blog on everything from politics to fashion.

One is the sense of community that develops among bloggers. As Annie Spratt (@MammasaurusBlog), a Mumsnet attendee explains,

The joy of the blogging community is that you find yourself around the table with the kind of social circle you could never otherwise get together. A stay-at-home mum, a businesswoman, a journalist, people of all classes, and it’s great to know you’re just not alone out there.

Being a lawyer can be a lonely life, whether in a solo practice or a large law firm. Who’s as passionate as you are about a particular area of law or representing a certain industry or consumer group? How do you collaborate with lawyers across the country with similar interests? How can you learn from and develop personal relationships with thought leaders across the country?

There is a ton of inspiration and learning that goes on among blogging lawyers in this country. Sure there’s Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, but blogging, our first social media, is where lawyers are at their finest in sharing their passion, experience, and care – not to mention in the support they give each other.

The second lesson is that bloggers only connect online and never meet face to face. From McVeigh,

The festival disproved the notion that bloggers spend their lives closeted away in darkened rooms. Social events are increasingly dominating the bloggers’ calendar, with dozens of face-to-face events springing up around the country.

Blogging lawyers meet each other face to face all the time. Some meet locally, some at national conferences, and some when one of them is traveling through the other’s town.

Unlike meeting someone for the first time, which you are, there is a real sense that you know each other very well. Perhaps better than if you only met face to face. Online you are more apt to share your passion and vulnerabilities than when you meet another professional face to face.

As a result, lawyers who blog pull their own community together. A community that’s there for collaboration, support, and mentorship.

Talking with lawyers on our LXBN Network, I see lawyers who have connected through blogging refer cases to each other, co-counsel cases, change law firms to join each other in practice, and teach programs together. Let alone the learning I see going on across our network.

Some of us may not qualify for Mumsnet, but all of of us can learn a couple things from the Mums who gathered in London.

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