art of being a good lawyer means staying up to speed on the latest developments in your area of law. Receiving RSS feeds from blogs published by fellow lawyers is the best way I have seen to easily stay on top of legal developments. These guys out publishing blogs covering a niche area of the law are good!
Sure, there are lawyers who only want to ‘learn’ when they receive CLE credits. But I always wanted to learn from whatever the source as long as it made me a good lawyer – credits or not.
Heck, I learned more to improve my trial law skills by watching on TV the best trial lawyers in the country dissect the mistakes made by the prosecution team in the Simpson trial than sitting at CLE’s in hotel conference rooms. I learned more listening to Gerry Spence tapes while driving than attending any bar sponsored CLE program.
A column in today’s Newsday agrees. The column is not about lawyers but you guys would have to be dense not to get the idea here.
The column talks about Charlie O’Donnell, 24, an equities analyst in Manhattan. He’s downloaded FeedDemon to his computer desktop so he can keep up with 40 to 50 bloggers in the venture capital field. The snippets, rumors, hypotheses he gets from them help him stay ahead of the crowd. “I don’t want to wait three months” he told Newsday, “before the mainstream media – no offense – finds out about a new technology.”
Newsday talks about the community which develops among bloggers within a certain niche. People they would never meet otherwise make business associations and exchange mutually beneficial information. I know from experience this is happening at lightening speed among lawyers.
The column’s second example is Stephen Harris, a marketing technology director in Whippany, N.J. His think-ebiz.com blog is a form of forced continuing education.
His blog focuses on his professional world. Harris believes that researching and writing on a regular basis helps him deepen his expertise. The advantages? Possibly being quoted in the press (like Newsday) or being invited to speak at trade shows.
Newsday provides some tips for you guys who are new to blogs:
- Use Google to search for blogs in your area of interest. Or check directories such as Bloglines.com or Blogdex.net.
- Start reading each day and providing feedback.
- If things get overwhelming, look into RSS readers, such as the free one at My Yahoo.
- If you’re confident your musings will not do you professional harm, include your blog location on your e-mail signature, resume and business card.
I don’t need to provide leads for finding the best blogs, you guys are trained to look things up. Do a search on a legal topic and just add the word “blog.” You’ll find some good blogs and then look at the list of blogs on their blog site and the blogs the lawyer quotes.
It’s a big blog world out there to get your best CLE from.