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

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Matt Homann

I have just one more suggestion to add to this already great list: Use Blogjet (www.blogjet.com). Combined with Typepad, it makes drafting and editing posts unbelievably simple. The best piece of software I've purchased (less than $20.00) in the last year.

Prof Yabut

Just couple questions, Fed:

After checking out Evan's weblog, I wonder: does a professor have to have an overweening ego to have a weblawg?

After reading Bob Ambrogi: do I need to have ads about computer-cable organizers and sex-personals, to have a "viable" weblog?

Finally, do trial lawyers and law students with weblogs live on a planet with more than 24 hours per day? Where do they find the time?


I don't think a professor has to have an "overweening ego" to have a weblawg. In fact, I had to look the word up and I am not afraid to admit it! However, don't tell my students -- otherwise they will think I have an "underweening" ego.


After checking out Evan's weblog, I wonder: does a professor have to have an overweening ego to have a weblawg?

Not a condidition precedent, but there is a substantial overlap. (The Yin Blog is egoless, though.) Then again, many professors do write about what they know, namely, their views of their own superiority.

After reading Bob Ambrogi: do I need to have ads about computer-cable organizers and sex-personals, to have a "viable" weblog?

Viable? It's all relative.

Where do they find the time?

Probably in the same place a lawyer turned mediator/social critic/haiku poet would find the time. ;^>

Prof Yabut

Hey, Fedsie, I'm emeritus. remember. Before I retired, I had never used email nor soifed da Net, much less left little Commentoids around the blawgiverse. Work and a weblog? I was never that underemployed.

Prof. Martin: I thought all us good little Catholic boys studied Greek heroes and gods in high school and learned about "overweening pride." I shall certainly use "underween" some time soon in idle conversation. Great word. I'm pretty sure you're neither underinsured nor underweened.


Work and a weblog? I was never that underemployed.

Hmmm...has Prof. Yabut turned his critical lens towards blawggers? Contingency fees are fair game. But blawgging? That's a sacred cow, my friend. ;^>

I take it that you also never watched television, went to a baseball game, took a vacation, read fiction (other than the Great Books series), talked at the water cooler, had a long lunch with a co-worker, or otherwise had any leisure time?

I'm highly productive and I'd put my record of success up against most lawyers with 10 years' experience. So I'm not underemployed - I just choose to spend my time differently than most folks. (Plus, I have a hard time unwinding. Thus blawgging is as close a thing to a break as I'll take).

Other than hanging out with my wife, pets, and (once a week) a couple of friends, I'm reclusive. Whether or not my choices in spending time are correct or not, it is how I spend it. Thus, blawging and talking about blawging may not equate with underemployment, though I don't doubt that it correlates.

Prof Yabut

You've got nothing to be defensive about, Fed84 (as far as I know). The rest of us are pleased that you give so much attention to weblawgging and weblogs.

When I was twelve, and my mother told me to stop studying and go to bed at midnight, I replied: "Nothing worthwhile was ever accomplished without having bags under your eyes." I think Einstein said something similar about needing fanatical attention to get big things done.


It's raining in California, which means I'm in danger if I leave the house. Being from Illinois, I can handle the rain. But I can't handle the people in Cali who can't handle the rain. My point? I'm going to spend some time in the comments section today. I have an alternate computer, too, if Evan tries to pull a TalkLeft on me.

In fact, I had to look the word up and I am not afraid to admit it!

Yeah, so did I! I like to go to Google and type as my search term: define:WORD. It's not as comprehensive as m-w.com, but the definitions, when they are there, are much more precise.

I hate it when I sound defensive. It means I still feel I have something to prove to the world. That type of outward need is not psychologically productive and causes a dissonance between my view of self (independent) and my actual self (perhaps not so independent).

Does anyone else use Blogjet?

Evan, are you going to tell us who sent you the bar review course comment spam?

Why is David Prof. Yabut today?


No. 84:

Good post. I'm trying to get some things done so I can head to the (Cardinals) baseball game, but anyway . . .

(a) I didn't know about the Google "define word" search; I'll use it;

(b) Blogjet looks interesting and I'm going to investigate it tonight; sometimes it's hard for me to get things just right using html code with typepad;

(c) I probably won't be divulging which bar review course left me the comment spam; I got my irritation off my chest with the post, and don't want to spend any time investigating the product on its website;

(d) David's identity changes from time to time depending on his mood or what he has to say; as for his jabs about the time it takes to weblog, I learned to ignore those long ago. I think he's just joking anyway.


Isn't Evan the best name ever? Nice work.


Evan: Yes, Evan is a good name. If you're crediting me for it, however, there's no need--my parents chose it. If you're crediting me for writing this post, there's still no need--Federalist No. 84 wrote it. Thanks all the same.

David Giacalone

You know how I feel about the word "blog." So, you can imagine that "blogjet" has me thinking about terms like "projectile" and "Exorcist".

I have to let Prof. Yabut out of his cave every now and then, or he wants to start posting at f/k/a.

I think the Professor is a bit defensive about all the spare time professors seem to have, so he brings up the subject a lot when he thinks other folk are goofing off or double-billing. ethicalEsq is in awe of the apparent productivity of many working blawgers (although he wonders if that O'Keefe guy is moonlighting; and, he occasionally speculates on the effective hourly rate of contingency fees some blawgers must be making).

Hardly any overweening types left at my weblog, I hope, but hubrisEsq might stop by here once in awhile.

p.s. I like the OneLook Dictionary -- it indexes almost 700 dictionaries, and presents results by type of dictionary, as well as offering a Quick Definition on the main result page.


"I can’t remember his URL, so every time I want to read him, I need to Google him or click-through from my blogroll."

You, my friend, need to start using a newsreader. There are several on the market, most free, and even the fine on-line Bloglines (www.bloglines.com). If you are still reading blogs by going to each site by hand or searching for the blog on google and reading it, than you have *far* too much free time on your hands! I read nearly 60 blogs daily and I couldn't tell you the URL of one of them, which frankly, is the way it should be.

David Giacalone

Fed84: I just noticed (how did I miss it -- lots of senior-CFS-moments lately) your mention of my many aliases as a weblog. It is a point well-taken. That is precisely why it is now called "f/k/a". Of course, if I wanted to keep my readership, I might have stuck with ethicalEsq.

The URL has never changed.


If you are still reading blogs by going to each site by hand or searching for the blog on google and reading it, than you have *far* too much free time on your hands! I read nearly 60 blogs daily [].

Hmmm...using a blogroll means too much time on hands...reading 60 blogs daily does not mean too much time on hands... :^>

Your point is noted, and I'll incorporate it into a updated version of the post. I wasn't going to go into blog readers because I thought it was a bit much, but you're right - bloglines is very simple.

I also took artistic license. My point was not "Can Dave! find you?" The point was, "Can the average reasonable netcitizen find you." I simply used myself as an example of TARN.

But I did suggest that people "Install an RSS feed."


"Hmmm...using a blogroll means too much time on hands...reading 60 blogs daily does not mean too much time on hands... :^>"

No, not using a blogroll... looking up blogs you read regularly on Google... it's only through using a reader that I can possibly read so many blogs... well, that and since I'm a law student, all I really have time for is blogging and getting smashed. :)


I followed Matt's suggestion and checked out Blogjet. I got pretty excited at first when I saw what it could do, but then realized it's only for Windows. Damn you Gates and your hegemony. Damn you!

Jeremy Richey

Rufus: I agree - us non-Micro$oft people will just have to forget about Blogjet. (Unless we use a Window$ emulater).

Evan: Cards Win! Cards Win! Cards Win!


Federalist No. 84: Congratulations on a great guest post. You started from the premise that the usual tips about blogging apply to blawgs, and then elaborated an excellent offering of tips specifically for blawgs. A good approach for Legal Underground, I think, and complete enough if most readers have a good idea what you mean by "the usual tips about blogging."

No doubt, many will be encouraged by your post to start a blawg of their own; some without the benefit of those "usual tips about blogging."

So, as a complement to your list for blawgs, here's a summary of Mark Bernstein's 10 tips on writing for the living web.

1. Write for a reason.
2. Write often.
3. Write tight.
4. Make good friends.
5. Find good enemies.
6. Let the story unfold.
7. Stand up, speak out.
8. Be sexy.
9. Use your archives.
10. Relax!

Jeremy Richey

Fed. and others,

The title of my site is Jeremy Richey's Law Blog. Would it make more sense for it to be Jeremy Richey's Blawg?

I formed the title of my blog before I understood that "blawg" meant a law focused blog.



I still think one of the best uses of your blog is for storing links you want to find later and/or want to refer people to later. A giagantic note pad that people who have similar interests will enjoy reading.


Jeremy: What is "Jeremy Richey's Law" anyway? Is that like "Murphy's Law" or something?

A bit of quick googling around shows that Evan Schaeffer has secured the top result on Google for the text string: jeremy richey's blawg [or] jeremy richey blawg

Jeremy has the top spot on Google for: Jeremy Richey's blog [or] Jeremy Richey blog

I'd recommend the title "Jeremy Richey's Blawg" because the term is now well-established in the minds of your readership, and it shows you appreciate the distinction. You should keep the word "blog" in your description tagline: "This blog contains opinions and information regarding U.S. law and the U.S. legal community."

Law blog aggregator www.blawg.org provides a definition of the term: "Blawg, n, a weblog with emphasis on the law or legal related issues and concerns, often maintained by an individual who studies, practices or otherwise works in the legal field."

Aaron Larson

This is some great advice for building a weblog that can help boost your reputation or business. (I don't much care for the term "blawg" - at least to me, it suggests... well, let's say onomatopoeia for "regurgitation".)

A comment on branding - as with any URL, you can think of your brand as being directed at two markets: Those who have previously been to your site or weblog, and those who will be coming for the first time.

If, for example, you are a business lawyer, and you have a lot of clients who tune in to your weblog for interesting tips and legal updates, you would probably want to focus on a brand that is easy for them to remember. The same principle applies if you are looking to build a roster of lawyers who read your blog and might refer cases to you.

If, on the other hand, you are primarily interested in generating new business, you may wish to focus on a blog name that includes keywords, or which people might find if searching for a lawyer in your field of practice. An example which comes to mind is "Michigan Medical Malpractice", a blog with a relatively mundane, keyword-oriented name, but which gets great placement in Google on that search phrase. Granted, if you are too generic you'll be both hard to remember and subject to being displaced in the search results pages if others optimize for the term.

If you're lucky (or ingenious), you may be able to come up with a name that does both. Or, if you're like me and your blog is where you blog off some steam or jot down some random thoughts when you're *not* in work mode, you may not even care. ;-)

Jeremy Richey


Thanks for the advice, which I followed. My site is now Jeremy Richey's Blawg.



You would probably want to focus on a brand that is easy for them to remember

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