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The Evolution of Lawyers To Citizen Journalists

February 5, 2024

Sunday afternoon, I started thinking of LexBlog having become a publisher for citizen journalists.

Person after person in New York, last week, introduced me as the publisher for over 40,000 lawyers and with a library of over 700,000 legal blog posts.

Twenty years ago, the legal profession stood on the brink of a digital renaissance few could have predicted. 

Lawyers were primarily consumers of content, reliant on mainstream publishers who served as the gatekeepers to the marketplace of ideas. 

The digital printing press, as we know it today, was non-existent in the legal field. There was no widespread platform for lawyers to share their insights, no collective body of timely legal information and analysis crafted by the hands of legal professionals themselves.

Fast forward to the present day, and the transformation is nothing short of revolutionary.

The emergence of digital platforms and content management systems has empowered lawyers to step into the role of citizen journalists, dismantling the barriers once erected by traditional publishers. 

This shift has not only democratized access to legal information but has also fostered a more diverse and rich exploration of legal topics, benefiting both the public and legal professionals.

This journey to the current state of robust citizen journalism within the legal field was by no means a foregone conclusion. It was a path marked by skepticism and resistance. 

In the early days of LexBlog, when I knocked on law firm doors with the proposition of a blog, the idea of publishing information openly and for free was met with disbelief. Law firms could not envision themselves as publishers, contributing freely to the collective understanding of law.

Yet, here we are today, with LexBlog standing as a testament to the power of innovation and persistence. It’s an honor to be recognized for aiding the evolution of legal journalism, creating a space where legal professionals can contribute to a vast library of legal knowledge. 

This platform does more than facilitate publishing; it enables legal professionals to build their own publications, establish their names, and contribute to a richer, more accessible body of legal knowledge.

The innovation doesn’t stop with providing a platform. Advancement in legal journalism requires a network, a library of this vast body of legal reporting. 

Hence, the LexBlog Network and the Open Legal Blog Archive came into being, backed by the unwavering belief in the value of sharing legal knowledge. With 53,000 legal blog authors and over 700,000 blog posts, these networks have surpassed what many – me included – thought possible two decades ago. 

Lawyers are no longer just the audience; they are the creators, the narrators, and the innovators in the legal information marketplace.