Over the past few weeks, Mike Cernovich and I have been writing an article about law-related weblogs that grew out of Mike’s guest post here, which was published under his former pseudonym “Federalist No. 84.” In working on the article, I’ve been thinking about why lawyers might want to start a weblog, something I touched on in my earlier article for the Illinois Bar Journal.
It’s led me to another question: Why do I have a weblog—or more specifically, three weblogs? I’ve been thinking about that too, especially as I think about where Notes from the (Legal) Underground might be headed after almost a year of posting every day. Why keep it up? Generally speaking, lawyers don’t read weblogs. Though this seems to be changing as weblogs get more media attention, the reaction from lawyers who know both me and my weblogs is not always favorable. Some lawyers are openly hostile: Why am I wasting my time surfing the Internet? And why weblogs? They’re a fad. Few people read them, and those that do are mostly young girls.
Do the naysayers have a point? In my defense, I can say the following: That my weblogs have now generated a number of good clients (mostly as a result of The Illinois Personal Injury Weblog); that my weblogs have given me a forum to state the case against tort "reform"; that my weblogs have led to a book deal, which has long been a goal of mine; and that there are other books in the works. My former partners, for example, want me to pitch a book to publishers about their trials and tribulations as defense-lawyers-turned-extremely-successful-plaintiffs’ lawyers. It’s a good story, which I’ll probably be previewing here from time to time. (It involves the way a multinational corporation campaigned for years to prevent them from practicing law but ultimately failed in their quest.)
It’s true that for me, a book will always be a more satisfying resume credit than a weblog. But weblogs do allow serious writers to try out new ideas, new styles, new methods for telling a story. This is one of the things I like about this weblog, and why I’ll probably keep it going, at least for a while, after I pass the one-year mark. But I must admit I’m a little ambivalent, at least from day to day.