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Why I started blogging about law

Pink Tape has put up an interesting piece on the the recent boom in legal blogging. I only started this blog a little under a week ago. I am a child of that boom. About this boom Pink Tape is frank,

I admit to the occasional resentful feeling recently – it may have been isolating, but it was at least novel. Perhaps it is less of both these days.

… and balanced,

But there are still lots of really excellent writers out there, and more each day. It’s just a question of sifting through the dross.

Another veteran law blogger (whose archive stretches back five odd years), John Bolch (Family Lore), observes the emergence of what he calls ‘the establishment blawg‘.

More and more blawgs began to appear, from the tedious “here’s a topical legal story – if you have the same problem, we can help” type, to the rather more subtle providers of detailed legal analysis, thereby demonstrating serious expertise.

Like Pink Tape, John Bolch is balanced in his treatment,

I’m not saying that law blogs should be restricted to one type. One of the beauties of blogging is that there are (virtually) no rules as to what format a blog should take. The problem, however, is that the establishment thinks it knows best and inevitably tries to take over the medium.

Adam Wagner, who describes himself as being a relative newcomer to legal blogging (UK Human Rights Blog is just over a year old) (Carrefax is just over five days old!), is optimistic,

I would like to think that the established blogs (and these are not at all synonymous with the establishment blogs) will continue to support and promote new blogs through links, mentions and tweets.

I might as well admit it from the off – there was nothing at all original about my choice to launch a legal blog. And, while I’m confessing to things, I’d probably feel slightly miffed if I’d been working hard writing and developing this blog for a number of years only to see an explosion of Tom, Dick and Harry’s onto the scene. I’d like to think I’d be as balanced and as welcoming as Pink Tape and CharonQC (who very kindly spread the word the day my blog went live). But, as a blogger still wet behind the ears, I wanted to set out my reasons for generating yet more legal transmissions to add to the pile.

Therapy. I reckoned blogging would be cathartic. It’s my equivalent of Pink Tape’s ‘therapeutic escape valve’. Law is a cerebral subject and it’s rewarding to sit down and splurge a few ideas and musings. This post is case in point. Even if no one looks at it, the blog is a little repository of what I think, a place I can go all “Dear diary…”

Fun. I enjoy writing. A lot. And, for the last couple of years at least, law has been the thing that has got me out of bed in the morning. A combination of the two has been on the cards for me for a while – but until I get it together to write a book, blogging is the obvious platform.

The third reason is this: law, by definition, is a battle ground of ideas and views. When things go well, the best rise up to the top, the chaff sinks to the bottom. As a law reporter, I spend most of my time listening to what the Bar and the bench have to say and then making an assessment as to what should end up published and recorded in the law reports and what should not. I reached a point where I felt confident enough in my views to subject them to the scrutiny of others. I’ve learned massive amounts from the work of other writers and bloggers, I wanted to contribute something into the market of ideas myself.

And last but by no means least: a certain measure of vanity.

Coming into an already crowded pack is a tricky business (especially when you’ve got Oedipus Lex sowing the seeds of fear! Although, I look forward to his return to blogging). I hope at least a small portion of my posts are of some interest. If not, I daresay I’ll learn the hard way!

PS: Anyone seriously interested in the law ought to see this.

Filed under: Law blogging

About the Author

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I am a law reporter employed by the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for England & Wales. I write law reports for the Official Law Reports, the Weekly Law Reports and the Public and Third Sector Reports. I also write on a freelance basis for the Road Traffic Reports and the Times Reports.

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