Sunday’s New Times article brought more attention to lawyers’ dissatisfaction with the practice of law.

I’m no mental health expert, but I work with hundreds of lawyers who are blogging. Blogging lawyers are a generally happy breed as well as experiencing a good deal of career satisfaction. I don’t think it’s any coincidence.

Why are blogging lawyers happier?

  • Blogging lawyers plan for success. All too often lawyers end up working on whatever comes there way. Rather than defining success as working in a niche area of law you would enjoy for the clients you would enjoy working for, you define success as having enough money to keep the wolves away from the door – both at the office and at home. It’s then follow the money, as opposed to follow enjoyment. You can have both if you plan.
  • Blogging lawyers work on their success plan. A successful blog begins with the end in mind. What do you hope to achieve? As reputation, type of work you want to do, and the type of clients you want to have. Knowing you are working a career path leading to success is personally rewarding.
  • Success is defined by doing what you love, as opposed to making as much money as possible. People want to make meaning. People want to be proud of what they do. People, including the very wealthy, are not driven by the desire to hold little green pieces of paper in their hands. Defining success as doing something you are passionate about, whether it be advising on security issues for Fortune 200 companies or representing injured workers on compensation claims, brings enjoyment.
  • Writing on an area of law for which you have a passion is enjoyable. You follow what others in your field are writing. You realize what you are sharing has value to others, no matter how small your niche audience may be.
  • Networking with others who have similar passions. It’s enjoyable to find out there’s others out there who area as passionate as you about a niche area of the law. Better yet, being able to follow what they write via RSS and networking with them via your blog, email, and occasional phone call is a hoot. When you meet up at a conference, you’ll have instant friends.
  • Blogging lawyers get known as leading authorities in a niche area of law. We all have egos. Getting known as an expert feeds that ego.
  • Blogging lawyers get work by word of mouth because of their expertise. They become a ‘lawyer’s lawyer.’ Face it, we all looked at the leaders in a niche and imagined how cool it would be to get work because others referred it to us and then screen for the best. It happens over time with blogging.
  • Blogging lawyers regularly get positive feedback from other people. Every lawyer in this country has a letter they keep in their top drawer they pull out on a hard day to remind them why they became a lawyer. It is the letter from somebody who said, “I really appreciate what you did for me, you made a difference for me and my family, and you really helped me on this matter.” You keep that letter. But you do not get those every day. You do not get them every month. You may not even get them once a year. With blogs you get that type of feedback on an ongoing basis.

There’s probably eighteen other reasons why lawyers who blog effectively are happier. Let me know of other reasons you think of.

  • In addition to the great reasons you listed, and the many others you could add, one additional reason to blog is that it allows each blogger to improve the image of the legal profession. In many ways, lawyer-bloggers are giving away free legal advice. What better way to make the public feel better about lawyers than to see them giving away what they otherwise charge for dearly?

  • You mean I’m not the only one who feels that way about blogs improving the image of the profession Francis? Better watch out you don’t talk openly around the halls of your firm – they may think you’re going soft. ;)
    Seriously, if you read the reason why I do LexBlog, you’ll see that improving the image of our profession, among other things, is what drives me.

  • I do it because it’s fun and because there are never enough people listening to me talk.