6/27/11

Lawyers Write Blogs About All Sorts of Things - The Evolution of Lawyer Blogs

The word "blog" is actually a contraction of the phrase "web log," and back in the day, folk wrote web logs or journals, usually writing about personal diary-like topics: day's events, family life, etc.  As the internet grew in popularity and technology got more user-friendly, it cost less in time and money to start a web log. 

People took notice.  Business minds pondered how these logs, or journals, could be revamped to sell products or services.  News junkies started blogs to share scoops (think Drudge Report).  Educators thought of ways blogs could provide learning opportunities and ways to share information over the web.  Political pundits started blogs to share their views (e.g., Little Green Footballs).  Families figured out how blogs could connect loved ones in all sorts of locations, even in war zones.  The list goes on.

In the midst of this, there were lawyers who started blogs with a personal touch.  They opined to their colleagues about pending cases, new legislation, the state of the law - and of the legal profession.  Some were more analysis-oriented than others, but it was usually a single attorney writing a short blog post (article on a web log) several times a month, or week, or day, like Howard J. Bashman's How Appealing where he's been writing "the Web's first blog devoted to appellate litigation" since May 2002. 

Then the idea hit for business development via a web log or blog.  We began reading more about "blawgs."  Law firm web sites were no longer cutting edge; now, blawgs were the new trend.   Law firm marketing strategies began to incorporate blogs into their rainmaking plans in much the same way that Web 2. 0 campaigns do now (i.e., the use of Twitter and Facebook and LinkedIn). 

Blogs for lawyers and law firms diversified.  The intended readers of lawyer-generated blogs are varied: some are targeting potential clients, some are targeting referring attorneys, some are seeking to support an issue or to build public awareness about it.

Some blawgs consistently give opinion, some never do.  Some blawgs are funny, some are serious.  Some deal with the law, and some don't. 

Lawyers Who Blog About Things Other Than Law -- Ten Examples

For example, here are a few blogs appearing on the web today that are written by lawyers that have nothing to do with legal issues:
  1. Appalachian Trail Hike 2010 -- coverage of  hiking the Appalachian Trail " ... from the perspective of a lawyer, an ivy grad, and a city chick," via a blog on the Blogger platform (together with videos on MySpace, photos on Picasa, etc.), hiking from Georgia to Maine in one year's time. There's a documentary now, too. 
  2. Nathan B. Hannah, Attorney   -- periodic posts on jazz from a lawyer "who'd rather write music commentary."  Wish he'd write more - what's there is good stuff. 
  3. Ironlawyer -- an attorney posts about preparing for an Ironman competition with her husband - they completed a half-Ironman in May 2011.  Hopefully, there will be more posts after they recuperate.
  4. Paul's Travel Blog -- with periodic blog posts, this lawyer dedicates his travelogue to "...discuss[ing] a bit how a legal education changes your general behavior, decreases your appetite for certain kinds of risk. Now, it is true that the profession probably draws the risk-adverse simply because a legal education is seen as a "safe" field for moderate professional and economic success.... Yes, I believe that law school and law practice have made me a more cautious, risk-adverse person."
  5. Instapundit --  Glenn Reynolds is a law professor at the University of Tennessee who publishes a political blog as part of "Pajamas Media," whose personal passion is pondering "...the intersection between advanced technologies and individual liberty."  Instapundit has been on the web since 2001.
  6. Black Coffee and a Donut -- two sisters who are both attorneys have dedicated their blog to their foodie passion, and have a great food blog with very nice photos covering local restaurants as well as food finds during their travels (which do include Paris, of course).  Recently covered in the Baltimore, Maryland Daily Record.
  7. Everyday Simplicity -- my own blog, begun in January 2006, where I post regularly on issues of living a simplicity lifestyle, which includes issues like going green, downsizing, career change, recipes, cleaning tips, and being more frugal. 
  8. LeffStyle -- former NYC entertainment lawyer blogs on interior design with lots of photos, who educates readers not only on design, but designers. Chic and fun.
  9. Michelle's In Cambodia -- as a lawyer who moves overseas to Cambodia to teach English and have adventure, Michelle is as much a photographer as a writer and there are many wonderful photos uploaded here on her blog documenting her journey as well as her periodic posts.
  10. ProFootballTalk - an all-things-football blog, hosted by NBC.com as of June 2009, with lawyer Mike Florio as its editor; Florio also contributes posts to its "Daily Rumor Mill," with news tips as well as his viewpoints on all things pro football.  It's not known how much Florio got paid by NBC when he sold his blog to them, but he's remained at its helm as editor since the sale. 
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