Every lawyer was a young attorney once. Well, almost every lawyer. Either way, everyone had to start someplace—but not everyone had the opportunity to start in a technological era when anyone could publish and demonstrate (or grow) their expertise.
That was an interesting point raised—and repeated—by Husch Blackwell Partner David Stauss, editor of the firm’s Byte Back blog on privacy and data security, on the most recent episode of our This Week in Legal Blogging podcast.
“Five, six years ago, maybe longer, this type of blogging wasn’t as prevalent as it is today,” he said. “To get yourself the writing credits I had to get when I was a junior lawyer, you had to do things like write articles that appeared in periodicals or those types of things. And it took a long time to develop a resumé.”
“Now you can really dig in and if you want to put the time and effort in, you can develop an area through blogging.”
We harp on the ‘why’ a whole lot at LexBlog, but it’s different when you hear it back from the lawyers—especially because it’s different for everyone. Success looks different for different types and levels of lawyers.
But for young lawyers in particular, blogging has the potential to answer a lot of questions.
“What I would say to junior attorneys who are out there, and even people who are trying to think about creating their own blog, is it has value,” Stauss said.
“In particular for junior attorneys who are thinking about ‘How am I going to make a name for myself in this space?’ or ‘How is it I’m going to develop expertise?’ or ‘How is it that I can start developing my own resumé?’, this is a great avenue.”
It’s really simple, especially for lawyers whose resumé is real light.
“Blogging helps young lawyers develop expertise,” he said. “Using blogging as a format helps you to develop your biography as an attorney and distinguish yourself as someone who has expertise, both in the eyes of your peers and the eyes of people who might hire you for your expertise.”
Take it away, David.
“I just had this conversation with an associate yesterday,” Stauss said on the podcast “The [California Consumer Privacy Act], for example, it’s going to be revised in 2023. If you sat down and picked one aspect of the [California Privacy Rights Act], the new version of that statute, over the next 18 months, if you just wrote one a month, one piece, 500 words a month, a blog post on a section of the CCPRA—your readers would love it and you’d be looked at as a subject matter expert.
“And that’s an hour of your life, maybe an hour and a half, every month.”
We know it as well as anyone—maintaining momentum with a blog is always the toughest task, especially on group blogs. There are a whole lot of blog editors out there, like David, who would love one more motivated author to add to their publication.
“Most blogs out there are looking for content,” Stauss said. “Most firm blogs are looking for content. And certainly, if you’re willing to put in the time, I think you’d get a receptive audience from people inside your firm and I think it all pays off.
“It tends to be non-billable, it tends to be nights and weekends type of stuff, but if you’re willing to spend all this time and energy becoming an attorney, why not? Why not put a little more time and energy into doing the blogging?”
So if you are a lawyer who’s looking to not just strengthen their reputation outside your law firm—but also inside of it—here you go. You’re hearing it straight from a partner at one of the largest law firms in the country.
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