As a lawyer, it may be less obvious what you have in common with Perez Hilton (other than both being fans of Glee).
However, like Perez Hilton, attorneys should learn to appreciate the value of a personal blog site.
Although lawyers should probably avoid celebrity gossip, attorneys would benefit from contributing personal content to an individual blog site. And, here’s why.
1. Productive Diversion. Angry birds and Pinterest can certainly fill up your free time. However, a personal blog allows attorneys to make more productive use of their lunch hour.
Stuart Brown wrote in his book Play: How It Shapes the Brain, Opens the Imagination, and Invigorates the Soul writes, “I have gathered and analyzed thousands of case studies that I call play histories. I have found that remembering what play is all about and making it part of our daily lives are probably the most important factors in being a fulfilled human being.”
When moving physical locations is impossible (law firms frown upon playground breaks for attorneys), briefly browsing the Internet for fun, diverting subjects, videos, or photos can substitute as “play.”
“The ability to play is critical not only to being happy, but also to sustaining social relationships and being a creative innovative person.”
Writing about your favorite sports team, commenting on news items, or reposting interesting videos are each great ways to maintain a positive personal attitude in an often stressful environment.
2. Hone Your Writing Skills. Lawyers write briefs and motions all day, but practice (so they say) makes perfect.
In addition to honing your writing skills for legal briefs, a personal blog can also help lawyers to hone their skills in writing communications for clients. Blogs, by nature, are more informal and cater to a different audience.
Practice colloquializing legalese. Clients will be grateful to (finally!) fully understand the status of their case with your newfound informal communication.
3. Brush Up On News. Although many lawyers already watch the evening news or read the morning paper, a lawyer’s professional work benefits from being up-to-date on current events.
Brushing up on recent news is fodder for elevator conversation with colleagues, and, now, it can be fodder for editorial content on your personal blog.
4. Discover A Different Area Of Law. Depending on your practice, the day-to-day legal work you are conducting may or may not be your primary interest. So, when you’re tired filing patent applications, use a personal blog as an outlet to read and research an area of law that attracts you most.
As a younger attorney, sometimes biglaw dominates your time with pages and pages of doc review. A personal blog allows you to return to those challenging student days of mock trial and competition.
Not every day at work will be intellectually stimulation. But, everyday of blogging can be.
5. Networking. Having an online presence—in any form—always makes for good networking.
So, in addition to joining LinkedIn, online professional groups, and social media networks, give personal blogging a try in order to increase your online visibility.