On today’s anniversary of 9/11, I couldn’t help but to think back on twenty years ago. I draw inspiration from the challenges and adversity we face as a country and the heroes who rise on those occasions to help others – I got it from my Mom.
On 9/11, eighteen years ago today, I was in a Boston hotel across the street from where the five terrorists who flew the American Airlines plane into the first World Trade Center stayed.
I was in Boston after selling Prairielaw.com, a virtual legal community, to LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell. We were in Boston to do usability testing for lawyers.com, a consumer and small business law site which incorporated the community and content we created at Praielaw.com.
My heart was only half in Martindale. My baby and my dream of helping lawyers and the people they served was sold to a large corporation.
Today, thinking of 9/11, makes me wonder why average folks like me can’t rise to the occasion when it comes to the challenges we face as a country. What’s stopping us? We have the technology and the Internet that no one had before us.
One challenge close to my heart and the team working here at LexBlog is legal services being inaccessible to 85% of the people in this country.
The cost of a lawyer is not the deciding the factor for most people, lawyers have simply become irrelevant to people. The vast majority of lawyers aren’t out connecting with people in a real and authentic way. People don’t know lawyers and lawyers don’t know people.
I moved my family to Seattle twenty years ago this last Summer on a mission of creating a virtual legal community of people helping people. Think AOL on the law.
I’d seen as a practicing trial lawyer the power of AOL. Its message boards and chats enabled lawyers to connect with people. An intimate relationship of trust was established.
In just a year our two our small law office helped thousands of people via AOL and the open Internet. In turn, we built a nice reputation and relationships.
It was clear to this guy, who didn’t know a lick about technology, that the Internet could develop business for a lawyer while at the same time the lawyer was out helping people.
With the help of the venture capital community and a great team here in Seattle we got that virtual community up and going. But with its sale and the teams’ being jettisoned by the acquirer, the ability to connect lawyers with people, for good, was lost for a bit.
In due time tough came the realization that blogging enabled lawyers to connect with people. Connections established by listening and engaging in a real and authentic way. Connections founded on a lawyer’s care. Connections that established real trust in a lawyer. Connections that made legal services more accessible.
So came LexBlog, with its mission today of connecting lawyers with people, for good.
People whether a consumer, corporate executive, in-house counsel or small business person. Simply doesn’t matter. Blogging works to connect.
In pursuit of our mission, we’ll continue to do all we can to empower and inspire legal bloggers, worldwide. We’ll empower them them our platform and training. We’ll inspire them by shining a light on them, their blogging and who they are as caring professionals – and people.
We have a ways to go in incorporating existing legal bloggers into the LexBlog community and finding lawyers to cover the hundreds of areas – topic and geographic-wise – not covered by legal blogs today.
The challenge is trivial compared to challenges faced by families who lost loved ones on 9/11 and by the workers who developed life threatening diseases by working the 9/11 site to save others.