There is indeed a veritable explosion of legal blogs (blawgs, twegals and other twaddle). Until not so long ago it has been quite an isolating experience combining practice at the bar with a slightly more creative approach to writing, particularly one that involves expressing a personal view (Typing “IMHO” is contrary to a barrister’s most basic instincts in so many ways. It requires conscious effort to retrain oneself to function normally in internet society). Trying to imagine the bar 2.0 has been tough, the independent bar operates in a world where we are given a daily platform to play devil’s advocate, always safe in the knowledge that we are simply doing a job and not responsible for what we say. But when I am blogging they are my words are my responsibility. And it’s not a trivial one. “Your Honour, those are my instructions” just doesn’t cut it.
But enough of the navel gazing metaphysics of blogging. John Bolch has noticed the big bang and he ponders whether it’s all getting a bit ordinary. One of many. Blah blah. 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. But ultimately I don’t blog for the USP, I blog because I enjoy it. And I think that’s an essential ingredient of an interesting blog, a great blog. Blogging is in all honesty a little bit of a vanity project for all of us (deny it if you like but it’s true), but it is dull, pointless and blah if that’s all it’s about. There are some “blogs” which are transparently no more than adverts (blahdverts?), and which offer little of interest. 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.
To prove my point, here are a few new blogs I’ve discovered in the last couple of days alone, they look to have lots of potential and I wish them well:
Carrefax is a blog from a law reporter, according to my friend from Onblastblog.com. I read his recent post on the dining experience with interest, although I have to say I don’t really agree with him. I found the whole experience rather dull, pointless and isolating and I don’t take particular issue with the Guardian article he critiques in his post. I guess my chip was harder to shrug off than Carrefax’s.
Clerkingwell (geddit?) is a blog from a barrister’s clerk, Jeremy Hopkins in which he bravely tackles the topic of ABS.
Family Law Confessions is the new blog of a junior family solicitor. I recognize much of the world he describes, and I will be following with interest to see how he deals with the difficulties of blogging about day to day practice given the constraints of confidentiality. As I write this post the site seems to be down, but you can find it here, no doubt it will be unglitchified and back again before long.