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

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feel better? cheer up fella, if you're content is good, readers will come.


Ok, since you asked: You seem to enjoy what you write about. But, it's just not compelling enough for me to read long personal passages, much less comment on them.

I would suggest you either consign yourself to the belief that many read but few comment, or perhaps you shorten the passages, and try to seek comments by changing your titles.

In all honesty as a professional I read blogs for info ... lifehacker.com being one of the best. LegalUnderground is short and informative.

I am also willing to bet that 1L's have plenty of reading to do just for school.

Keep blogging!

Josh Malher

Thanks for the advice, guys. Trying a new format now! Should I focus on the real world or focus only on legal issues. Monkeylawman, you cite lifehacker.com, which clearly meets your tech needs and legalunderground.com, which apparently gets your legal fix on. As a blogger, what is left?

Once again, thanks a bunch, fellas.


I hate to sound harsh, but readers are harsh. From what I've seen at your blog, it's basically an online diary. Unless you're a really pretty girl, or unless you talk about getting drunk all the time, no one outside your friends and family will likely read that.

Also, you have to add something different. I don't really care what you have to say about Congress, or bin Laden, or anything else covered by hundreds of other blogs. What makes your blog anything more than just another opinion?

The widely read blogs focus on some niche issue. Show me a blog with over 500 visitors a day, and you'll see a blog that has some niche covered. Even Legal Underground, eclectic though it may seem, fills a niche. Where else can I go to get a dose of humor and anti-tort reform arguments?

In sum, if all you're going to do is blog about your life and your opinions on the world, very few people will read you. Find out what no one else is covering (or find some topic you can cover better than it's being covered), and you'll build a decent-sized readership.

Josh Malher

I think we may be missing the point here. I'm not asking anyone here to LIKE or even visit my blog personally. I was offering up the idea that it'd be a mitzvah to occassionally visit the blogs of students, just to encourage them. If The State of the Union isn't for you, nobody's forcing you to check it out...just trying to put into words what a lot of bloggers probably often feel based on my personal observations. I mean, I'm sure you guys don't write to Dave Barry or Ann Coulter and say things like "You know, there are plenty of other people already talking about all this political stuff you are constantly writing about." So, thanks for the input...I'll use what I think is important, but if you missed the spirit of my post, I hope that I've at least made it a bit more clear.


Josh: I understood your post to mean that you've come to realize that the number of readers you have doesn't matter all that much.

You've recommended writing for "the lawyer you will become." It means that even if you end up with an audience of only one reader, that one reader will be a very important one. I think that's a good attitude to have.

Josh Malher

You understood me perfectly, Mr. Shaeffer. Thanks!

Josh Malher

Schaeffer...ah, for an edit button...


I read your whole long post. You seemed to be a caring, reasonable guy, so bear with me on the comments as I am not trying to be mean spirited:

You wrote:
"I sent emails to a number of legal blogs asking for inclusion in the Blogroll, including the one you are visiting right now."

I don't have a blogroll yet. I am considering one, but since my practice is limited to PI and pharma lit, I would probably not put your blog there - just as I would not put a buddy's of mine's well written defense centered blog.

"So, who are we writing these things for, anyway? Blogs are, at the end of the day, a largely self-indulgent venture."

For you perhaps. Again, remember your audience. On L.U., I read it for tips. My blog has a business related component to it. I have a personal site that relates to a college football team and our adventures being fans, but I wouldn't refer to it on my blog. Self indulgent sites tends to die off, IMHO.

"Comments" I have taken the step of not allowing anyone to leave one. In all honesty if someone wants to comment, I do get private emails. I can tell you that I have been humbled when I get emails from trial attorneys ... including 1 from the President of a State TLA (Trial Lawyers Assoc.) asking me for a pleading.

I read 100 blogs via Bloglines. I have enough problems reading them, much less posting to any of them. In fact, I read L.U. & I think this is comment #2 in a year of reading.

Your blog to me is more of an online diary. That is fine. If you want comments, then go online and research the ones who get comments. Blogroll student sites, etc. Look at your work and ask - will this add to anyone? Do I care? Is it enough to just post?

ALso - I did notice that you took a 2 year hiatus from blogging, so why would anyone want to blogroll you now? Let's see some longevity, IMHO. I have been at it for almost 1 year, and had almost no comments for 5-6 months of daily postings.

Good luck!


Josh, if you want people to visit your blog, it's a good idea to visit theirs. "Go down your blogroll" is not going to encourage people. But if you post intelligent, interesting comments, and fill in the 'your web site' part of the comments form, people reading those comments will mosey on over to check you out.

Keeping a personal-diary kind of blog is fine. If you decide to start blogging about law school, I'd do that separately.

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