Lawyer quits job at Jones Day to publish Cubs blog

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I am always telling lawyers who are beginning to blog to follow their passion.

“If you had a magic wand and could wave it and ask for anything you wanted, what type of work would you want to do and what type of clients would you want to do that work for? Now make it happen through blogging.

Ohio lawyer, Brett Taylor, took it to a new level.

As reported by Chicago Tribune business columnist, Robert Reed (@reedtribbiz), Taylor quit his job at Jones Day in Columbus to blog full time about the Chicago Cubs.

That’s right. After working in the firm’s litigation group for four years, in 2011, Taylor (@bleachernation) left a secure, but unsatisfying, position to publish his Bleacher Nation blog full time.

Taylor’s not unlike the lawyers I’ve met and worked with at LexBlog who decided to chase their dream through blogging. Though the men and women I know did stay in the law.

Taylor told Reed he saved a bit from practicing, they lived modestly and that his wife, Gretchen, made it possible with a regular paycheck and health insurance.

Like me, Taylor became a Cubs fan by watching WGN on cable TV, as opposed to sitting in the bleachers at Wrigley field. He grew up in Ohio and went to Ohio State University for law school.

Taylor’s not a journalist nor doing regular reporting. He speaks to readers as a fan, adding a little legal assessment along the way.

It’s working. In addition to Bleacher Nation readers, he has 158,000 Facebook and 58,000 Twitter followers.

Taylor’s the real deal in engaging his followers. When I gave him a shout out on Twitter for the move he made during the Cubs’ game last night, which we lost 7-1, he immediately responded.

Bleacher Nation’s not solely a labor of love.

While declining to give financial results, the site is increasingly running ads from retailers, travel firms, even a recent online advertisement for McCormick spices. Periodically, Taylor seeks to tap into his followers’ collective goodwill by imploring them not to block those ads and reduce the click count.

Taylor is not alone in following his dream today. Harold Welsch, founder of DePaul University’s Coleman Entrepreneurship Center, told Reed:

We find more people leaving professional jobs and giving it a try. Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life.

So many lawyers are struggling with the type of work they are doing. In Taylor’s case, the killer instinct clients wanted in litigation wasn’t for him. Some lawyers are struggling getting a job or work altogether.

A law blog based on passion works, too many lawyers are living proof. If you build, they will come.

Kevin O'Keefe
About the Author

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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