Blogging is not for every lawyer. Blogging takes time, a passion for what you do or want to do, a desire to give in a real and meaningful way, and the persistence to do what’s needed to change your station in life.
If you’re on the fence about blogging as a lawyer, here’s ten reasons to blog. I am sure there are many more.
- Blogging is fun. Talk to any law blogger with a wide ranging reputation and they’ll tell you they really enjoy blogging. Sure, there will be occasional times when blogging seems to drag, but like any recreational or social activity blogging becomes part of the fabric of your life – an enjoyable part.
- To chase your dream. What are you passion about? Really. What area of the law would you love to work in? What industry would you like to represent? What consumer group would you like to represent? Never, before blogging, has there been a better way to establish yourself as a “go-to” lawyer in an area you love and surpass the reputations of more senior lawyers in the field.
- To help the people you want to help. To make a real difference. I believe the majority of us went to law school with the goal to “make a difference.” Perhaps not having a clear idea what “making a difference” meant or how we were going to do it, we’ve been looking for that window, that opportunity, to make a dent. To leave the world a better place because we were here. Blogging by allowing you to reach, engage, and influence people gives you that opportunity to make a difference.
- To get good at what you do. Really good. Reading from the best in your field. Meeting and networking with the best in your field. Attending the best industry and legal conferences as a presenter/attendee so as to personally network with and learn from the best. Establish personal relationships with the best in your field who you can call on for counsel. You’ll get this through blogging.
- To chart your own path. Blogging enables you to get known as a “go-to” lawyer in your own right. Not that you are looking to leave your partners or law firm, but you need to know you can support your family’s lifestyle and put your kids through college no matter what goes on at the firm level.
- To build a practice when you can’t get a job. Many law grads can not find a job. They may be forced to build a reputation and relationships from scratch while doing part-time work inside and outside the law. If there’s a better way than blogging to demonstrate your passion, expertise, and care in a niche area I have not seen it. Maybe it will take a couple years to keep a roof over your head through legal work alone, but it’s a start – and you’re acting on a plan.
- To get positive feedback on what you love. As evidenced by lawyers’ disenchantment with the practice, incidence of depression, and suicides, we’re not feeling the love. Blogging is all about living and expressing your passion. As you engage specific people and the world as a whole through blogging, you’re going to start feeling the love. People will engage you, agreeing, disagreeing, or commenting. People will share and cite what you blogged. There’s simply nothing like knowing there are others out there who have similar niche interests and that they want to engage with you, of all people.
- To take the time to reflect. A lawyer’s life is a fast one. Work, family, stress. There aren’t enough hours in the day. When do we slow down and reflect on what’s going on around us? A blog is not a diary, but blogging means reading what others we respect are saying and adding our own insight and commentary. Insight and commentary from our context. What are we seeing and feeling? Where do we think things are headed? We need this sort of release to be an effective lawyer and person.
- To advance the law. Never before in the history of legal publishing have they turned things so upside down and put “scholars” who have historically reported and advanced the law through their writings on equal footing with average guys and gals like you and I. You want to advance your state’s water law, infrastructure law, or child support law? Through blogging you can not only lead your state’s discussion, you’ll be testifying at hearings at your statehouse. Want to advance appellate law in a niche in your federal circuit. Blog it and have every judge and clerk in your circuit following your insight and commentary. In time, blogs will replace law reviews and journals. Why not play a part? Why not leave a mark?
- Build relationships and enhance your reputation. Don’t let anyone tell you differently, the best lawyers get their work through relationships and word of mouth. Not advertising, websites, directories, SEO, sponsored links, and what have you. Blogging accelerates relationships and word of mouth. You’ll get work.
If you decide blogging is a go for you, I look forward to seeing you out here chasing your dream and making the world a better place.
Image courtesy of Flickr by Mykl Roventine