Blogging is rapidly becoming more and more popular among the legal profession, with the likes of David Allen Green (Jack of Kent), Marilyn Stowe and even the Supreme Court all blogging about legal issues and cases that arise daily. More lawyers and academics have begun blogging daily about their specific research areas of law and there are hundreds of legal blogs out there, why not become one of them?
Why should you blog?
Everyone has an opinion on legal issues and lots of people write blogs and articles about them, so why not have your say too? Writing a legal blog can be difficult and you have to be careful what you do say (I’ll discuss this further later on). If you want to become a lawyer or an academic, being able to prove that you can write about legal issues and comment on them objectively can be a huge boost when searching for training contracts or when having to provide proof of articles. This also shows that you can research an issue that has arisen, then comment on that based on the knowledge and research you have done, which is what potential employers and future colleagues will be looking for. You can even pop it on your CV and it could arise in a job or university interview, creating an interesting discussion as to what you blog about and why.
So blogging isn’t something you should just cast aside, it is a great opportunity for you to put your point across on legal issues and to sell yourself to the legal world about how good you are at researching and legal work.
What you should and shouldn’t blog about
As mentioned earlier there are some do’s and don’ts of legal blogging. You do have to be careful what you discuss or you may find yourself the subject of someone else’s blog as you’re up in court for defamation. The main danger is to think you are protected from the law when blogging, this isn’t true! You are still liable for what you write and stating things that aren’t true can get you into a lot of trouble. If you’re blogging for a group or company then ask them if they think it’s an appropriate topic or subject, get their views on it and ask them to read it before it’s published anywhere.
What should my blog look like?
Think about the message you want to send out to people. You’re blogging about law, which means you’re probably very interested in legal issues and may even want to pursue a legal career, so remember to be professional. There are various different platforms and websites that you can use to create your blog on: Blogger, WordPress and Blawgs are the top three. Blogger and WordPress are generic websites that cater for every kind of blog and are used for a variety of themed blogs. However, Blawgs is a platform specifically for legal blogs. A level law students can use it to blog about their current experiences and what they are learning about, undergraduate students can comment on legal topics that arise on a day-to-day basis or discuss interesting topics from university and even a university law society can use it to promote their events and news.
Top Tips for Blogging:
If you’re writing a legal piece then always research the area and topic that you want to write about, you don’t want to end up with someone commenting on your post highlighting the big areas you missed out on.
Make sure there are no mistakes or grammatical errors in what you have written. You don’t know who might be reading your blog and if you want to use it later on, i.e. for a job interview, then it’s best that it’s not littered with little mistakes and errors as it doesn’t look good.
3. Think about the topic you’re writing about
Is it controversial? Could you easily offend? Make sure that what you are saying won’t get you in trouble. The last thing you want is to have a legal case on your hands because you have defamed someone (as explained above) so be careful.
4. Make it personal
Although it’s a legal blog discussing legal issues, state your opinion on what you’ve found out, do you think a law is good or bad, do you think an area of law needs improving, etc. Give your opinion on the matter and explain why that is your view using the information you’ve found out about it, it all helps towards improving your researching and writing skills.
5. Enjoy it
This is the biggest thing, although you have to be careful what you write about, ultimately remember to enjoy what you are doing. Researching topics that are hot off the press can be exciting, rewarding and will keep you up to date with legal goings on. It will also improve your research skills for future academic or career purposes, so take advantage and enjoy looking at other areas you may not cover in college or university.