I was going to post this am lauding lawyers for well done blogging and encouraging them to continue the cause. Then Scott Greenfield to the rescue with his post challenging practicing lawyers to keep blogging.

I suspect that there’s a wave of burnout happening amongst the trench people.  Without any big news, something to grab their attention and make them want to write, they’re getting tired of sitting at the computer.  It’s not like the spirit of Kevin O’Keefe resides in each of us.  Some need extra motivation to get their mojo working.

With that in mind, I pose a challenge to my brethren in the practical blawgosphere.  Unless you want to see the lawprofs and nutjobs (note that they are two separate groups in my mind) seize control, fight.  No, you don’t have to post as much as I do.  I just like to write.  It’s my therapy, but it doesn’t have to be yours.  Just don’t let inertia take hold.  Once you walk away from the computer, it’s hard to get back into the flow.

The practical blawgosphere is one of the best things that’s happened to the discussion of criminal law.  We’ve sparred with one another, agreed with one another, but expanded the understanding and debate far beyond anything that existed in the old days.  New lawyers can come online and learn from the mistakes that old lawyers made.  My personal depth of understanding has increased enormously thanks to the insights of others.

Don’t let this fade away.

We have so much to gain as a profession and a society by encouraging those lawyers who blog to keep blogging and by encouraging lawyers who don’t blog to take up the cause.

Look what we receive personally, as a profession, and as a society from lawyers blogging.

  • We make the law more accessible. Who is better equipped to the share practical legal information than lawyers practicing in a niche area of the law? Answering common questions. Sharing what we’ve seen on blogs and in the news sharing our insight and commentary. It’s great stuff never before available.
  • Blogs make us better lawyers by allowing us to reach out to experts in our field and collaborate with them. If I’m a recent law grad in New York whose heart is in doing criminal defense work, I can follow leading criminal defense law blogs. I can reach out to guys like Scott Greenfield as a mentor. I tried to do that as a young lawyer but it took trips across my state to legal conferences (when I could afford them). I tried to find mentors, but it was tough and intimidating to collaborate with leading lawyers. Blogs break down those barriers.
  • We showcase ourselves and other lawyers to those in need of legal services. Whether a corporate executive or a single mom who’s deadbeat ex is refusing to pay support, those in need of legal services can see the lawyers who care about what they do and see their thinking in action.
  • Many lawyers love what we do. Why not a way a to share what you love and get positive feedback from like minded lawyers and the public. It’s good for the psyche.
  • Blogging lawyers are improving the image of our profession. Sending $3,000 to Martindale-Hubbell for an online listing of your two person firm does nothing to improve the image of our profession. Same for buying sponsored links at Google, or putting up a website that’s little more than a shrine to the firm’s laurels. Good blogs are educational based, they’re focused on information, not on us as lawyers. They’re everything good about the legal profession.

We ain’t blogging about movies, knitting, or sports. As lawyers, we’re blogging about about something that’s a lynchpin in a free and democratic society. The law is at at the heart of what allows our America society to function. And the law does not function unless lawyers rally to the cause of making the law accessible, explaining how it works, and taking pride in our profession.

Carry on with the cause guys. Keep the fire of blogging alive. And encourage your fellow lawyers to take up the cause. You’re making our society a better place.