Monday, May 02, 2005

Ten Minute Bloggers

Received a flyer in the mail for the Texas Bar's new Ten Minute Mentor program. On the left side of the front of the brochure are quotes praising the program. No less than half (3 out of six) of the quotes are from blogs or bloggers (Blawg Wisdom, Law Practice Tips Blog, and South Carolina Trial Law Blog). If the statistics are true that only 26 percent of the population are "very familiar" or "somewhat familiar"with blogging, I can just imagine hundreds of puzzled lawyers reading the brochure and saying to themselves, "what the hell is a blog?". Oh wait, I forgot, I am the only person who reads sidebar quotes. I also scan long lists of names, looking for people I know, but that is a subject for another day.

Or perhaps lawyers as a whole know more about blogs than the general population. Is the proportion of blawgs:blogs greater than the population of lawyers:nonlawyers? What do you think?


Anita Campbell said...

It certainly seems as if a higher proportion of lawyers (and law school professors) blog than lay people.

At times, it seems like every lawyer (and every libertarian) on the planet has a blog.

I posed this very question to George Lenard when I reviewed his blawg, George's Employment Blawg, and here is part of the exchange:

"So I asked George to explain this great mystery of life: why do so many lawyers blog, as compared with, say, accountants or doctors? Here is what George had to say:
"Come on Anita, isn't it obvious? We are just so much smarter and more interesting. Seriously, many of us like to write and enjoy the freedom of writing whatever we want instead of what has to be written for our clients. Also, I wonder if many of us aren't more concerned with the need to develop independent professional identities. I suspect most of the blogging lawyers do not work for large firms, but are in situations where they are very conscious of the need to market themselves."

The whole review can be found at:


The Mommy Blawger said...

While it would be flattering to think of myself as "so much smarter and more interesting", alas I think the public perception is that lawyers are dull and boring.

But your comments brought to my mind two thoughts which have been floating around my brain recently. First, I have always hated writing. Hated it, hated it, hated it. Writing term papers, research papers, and college admissions essays was like pulling teeth. However, when I discovered blogging, I realized that I like blogger-style writing. The linking, the quick comments. It's the introduction, conclusion, and the "what does this all mean, really?" part that my brain doesn't like to generate. I'd much rather just throw it out there and let the readers figure it out.

Second, legal writing is different from other kinds of writing. This became apparent in law school when the english majors had a horrible time learning to write memos. Those with a science or engineering background did just fine. Somewhere recently I read that the purpose of legal writing is to make complicated things more simple; while the goal of certain kinds of non-legal writing (say, sociological or literary) is to make the simple more complicated.

So maybe something about the legal reasearch/analysis/writing process which we all learn while in law school (whether we continue to do any in our current practice) lends itself more to blogging than does the process used by those in other professions. What do you think?

I am also reminded of a Ukranian proverb, "Two lawyers, four opinions." Maybe lawyers have twice as much to say than "normal" people.