How to Feed a Lawyer (and Other Irreverent Observations from the Legal Underground)

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David Giacalone

Congratulations, Evan, a prize is a prize. It's like being chosen as the Best Comedy at an artsy film festival -- the humor is usually both light and dark, and the themes often involve everyday life with a backdrop of important contemporary social issues.

Please stay magazine-style eclectic. I wouldn't want to visit a cyber cafe where the proprietor and clientele only discuss a single topic and can't mix fun with serious conversation.

One improvement for 2005? Stop promising more inside at the end of a post and then having nothing additional besides links to prior posts.


David: Thanks for the tip. Perhaps I need to change my terminology. When I have nothing in a continuation but links to related posts, I do this: "[Below the Fold: Related posts.]" Maybe that's unclear. Perhaps I should say "[Below the Fold: Links to related posts]."

The idea of linking to related posts comes from point 9 of the article 10 Tips on Writing the Living Web.

David Giacalone

Evan, the post just prior to this one [the one with the Beer Mug] ends with the following line:

Continue reading "The Money Shot: Evan Schaeffer, Weblog Author"
Talk about leading us on.

As for the idea to link to other posts, I thought it came from "10 Tips for Filling the Entire Blawg Republic Top Posts Page."


As a non-lawyer, I would like to read more about your daily work, or maybe past cases if you can't discuss current ones in detail. I also like the occasional humor pieces, especially the Advice to Young Lawyers.


Evan, Congratulations.

Did you notice that Mr. Kennedy's awards favored those in the law-and-tech clique. I've noticed there's two groups of legal bloggers who don't pay much attention to each other. There's the law/tech people like TechLaw/Ernie/Kennedy and the pure law people like Volokh and others. For example, "Group Blogs" wins the award "Best Legal Blog Trends" and BlawgChannel is cited as an example. Group blogs have been around for a while in the "pure" law sector (e.g., the VC, En Banc/De Novo, SCOTUSBlog) and probably Volokh was the pioneer there. So it's not really a new trend in legal blogging in general, but it is as to the law and tech folks.

I'm not knocking Mr. Kennedy, since he clearly stated that the awards "are highly-opinionated choices made by me, based on my experience, expertise and likes and dislikes." But I think it's interesting that even in the small small world of legal blogging, there are cliques.

David Giacalone

There's no doubt there are weblawg cliques and Dennis Kennedy demonstrates it often at his website and with his awards. For example, there are categories in which both beSpacific and Inter Alia might indeed deserve awards (and I regularly read both), but Best Overall Legal Blog seems inapt. To me, that title should mean that the weblog makes a special contribution to the field of law or lawyering using the advantages of weblog technology.


David: The "continuation" you mention was a mistake. I fixed it. I'm having trouble with the new Typepad editor, which seems to place characters where I don't want them.

As for, yeah, you're right about that: if I link to one of my old posts, that site notices the posts as if someone else had linked to them. Someone at Blawg Republic ought to fix that.

As for the comments about blawg cliques--well, I guess there are--especially among law students, I've noticed--but I that's not necessarily a bad thing, is it? Anyway, as Dennis points out in his post, anyone else is free to hand out their own awards.

CM: Thanks for the comments. It's my daily work that I find hardest to write about, mostly because I feel like there are so many tort reform sites looking over my shoulder, ready to hold me up as an example of a "greedy trial lawyer" based on what I do. I don't necessarily blame them for this--free speech and all that, and I can always defend myself here. Sometimes I've even been guilty of making their case too easy for them. Another thing that makes writing about my work difficult is client-confidentiality issues and proprietary trade-secret-type issues.

When I started this weblog, I found I could write about my work if I did it in past-tense essays discussing things that had happened to me as a defense lawyer. Some of these stories are in the "war stories" category. Maybe I'll do some more of those. On the other hand, I haven't made up my mind about any of this; this is still a weblog under development.

David Giacalone

Loose circles of weblogging friends are fine, Evan, and are necessary in a world with so many weblogs. However, by definition, a "clique" is not only small, but it is exclusive. Being cliquish might not be particularly helpful when one gives oneself the title and award of Best Legal Blogging Expert. Such myopia certainly cuts down on the significance of awards granted by a CliqueMaster.


Introspection is against weblogging manners?

Larry the Longhorn


I most like reading about your practice, I think for two reasons: First, I'm not doing it myself yet, and second if things go as planned, I'll be sitting across the table from plaintiff attorneys like you. It's interesting to read about the other side.

Side note, I thought your most interesting post was actually the one about the Vioxx conference.


Larry: Thanks for chiming in. As explained above, I find my plaintiffs'-lawyer activities hard to write about. But if you and others find them interesting, maybe I'll continue. It's yet more evidence that I should keep mixing it up as much as possible.

I must point out, however, that as a longtime fan of your weblog, if I ever find myself on the other side of the table from you, I'm going to stand up, come around to your side of the table, and talk to you for awhile about all sorts of stuff. I'm going to be real nice, too, which will cause you to wonder if it's just another dirty plaintiff-lawyer's trick. But it won't be. It will be sincere. Really and truly.


Congratulations, Evan.

It's obviously self-serving, but I'd like to hear more about parenthood and the practice of law: practical challenges, problems you encountered, moments of success. Would your wife consider blogging about her experiences?


energy spatula

I have to say that the posts I've enjoyed the most have been where you've commented on things going on in the blog world or on legal-world-happenings. To me it's interesting to hear someone else's take on just about anything, but especially (to echo Larry, as I often do) to hear the opinions of someone who's already doing this crazy law thing. I would also like to hear more (from you or guest authors) about alternate careers one can do with a law degree. I think there are a lot of people in law school who have figured out they *may* not want to practice, but there aren't tons of great resoures to learn about people who have law degrees and work in careers that are non-law-related or only tangentially related.


If it makes you feel better, Evan, I try to write my posts as if you're reading over my shoulder.


Ted: I'll take that as a compliment. Thanks.


Hi Evan, I enjoy all of your blogs but perhaps Legal Underground the most. I hope you'll keep the Monday morning book blogging post feature, or something similar. I also look forward to reading more about your writing and "law and the family" posts. Thanks for the great links to other blogs, too.


I think that Evan may have won funniest legal blog on the basis of two posts: The Really Long Law Firm Website Legal Disclaimer and Howard Bashman's Daily To-Do List. Those alone are funnier than most anything I've seen anywhere else blawgwise. That's my highly opinionated opinion.

Evan, why not attempt a Law Students Awards this week for Weekly Law School Roundup #42?


There's the law/tech people like TechLaw/Ernie/Kennedy and the pure law people like Volokh and others.

Mike, is the TechLaw reference directed at me? I only wish I was part of a clique -- then maybe my site could actually get a mention in DK's Blawggie Awards.

As for why he selected certain sites for his awards I believe may have something to do with longevity. Sabrina has been posting daily on LLRX since 2001 and many of his award winners date back to lawyers who have been blawging since 2002.

I've personally been posting on legal topics since August 2002 and was inspired by many on the list including Sabrina, Denise, Martin, Ernie, Jerry and Dennis to start my own.


Kevin: Thanks for your comments. As for law-student awards, that would be fun if I could think of a way to do it without making everyone mad at me. That means I probably won't do it. I prefer just to link each week to the posts I really like.


As for law-student awards, that would be fun if I could think of a way to do it without making everyone mad at me. That means I probably won't do it.

Evan - The author of the comment I'm quoting signed his name as "Evan." However, I think that was the Machiavellian Lawyer speaking.


Mike: It was the Machiavellian Blogger.

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