The random thoughts of an architect-turned- lawyer from the deep south living in Washington, DC...

Friday, May 20, 2005

Legal Underground Changes

Big news around the blawgosphere right now: changes over at Legal Underground.

Some background...we can all admit that blogs/blawgs are becoming increasingly popular. Blogs are everywhere and most people are logging on daily. In fact, I am willing to bet if you are reading this blog, you may also have your own, or read another one or two, or at least know of some. Let's face it, blogs are becoming another arm of the media. Along with such widespread exposure, is bound to come some negativity. We have all heard of situations where people have lost their jobs due to content of their blogs. We have also encountered situations that bring weblogs to the center of lawsuits. Evan is bringing up another possibility: that blogging can serve as a negative marketing tool for a lawyer. There has been much discussion on this over at Legal Underground.

To sum things up: basically, the bulk of Evan's business (he runs a law firm) is in conjunction with other lawyers. With Legal Underground gaining such notoriety over the passage of time, he is afraid these potential clients/lawyer-joint-venturers will be given the wrong impression of him through his blog. He is not worried about someone saying "wow, this guy has a pretty irreverent attitude toward lawyers...we should steer clear of him." He is more worried about someone saying "um, if this guy spends this much time on his blog, is he really going to be able to dedicate himself to our case?" I think this is a valid fear on his part. I have nothing but the utmost respect and admiration for Evan as a blogger and legal professional. However, I must admit that I until now, I have viewed him as blogger first, with a law firm on the side (which I did not believe to be a bad thing.) If this is not the image he is trying to portray, then perhaps a few changes here and there are not such a bad thing.

If anything, Evan's decision has sparked a plethora of discussion on the issue in both his comments as well as on other websites. What I find most interesting is that the discussions seem to be centered around what each individual think's Evan's situation REALLY is. I, for one, think Evan may know that best. With varying degrees of education and legal expertise, none of us is in the same position to gague Evan's situation and the best course of action for Evan. Why don't we leave that to him?

One argument focusses on the misplaced notion of blogs taking too much time. People look at the content of a site and for whatever reason assume it took the better part of a day to post. My mother, for one, thinks this is all I do. (Sometimes, I think she wonders if I even go to law school.) In reality, I only post in down time. This blog never takes priority over studying, work, socializing, etc. Basically, I substitute it for TV time since there is never anything good on these days anyway. That being said, I can fully understand Evan's fear that someone in his world may get the same mistaken impression on a much more important level...one that could cause him business.

I think Evan has done something that people have yet to realize in blogging: he has foreseen a negative impact and made the difficult yet possibly necessary decision to change course. That goes back to his level of interaction with the blawgosphere and his ability to analyze situations clearly. This makes me respect the man even more, if that is possible. Although I am sad about no more "Law School Round Up"...I do wish Evan the best of luck!