An interesting discussion has arisen among some of my lawyer/blogger colleagues, about what really makes a law blog a blawg. Ernie argues that his site is not a true “law blog,” because it doesn’t discuss a particular legal specialty. Bill Altreuter of Outside Counsel replies that if it’s a blog about being a lawyer, then it’s definitely a law blog. Bob Ambrogi over at LawSites weighs in with a recent article onblawgs that provide practical information.
I think they’re all right. Specialty blawgs provide lawyers with terrific practical information on their particular area of law. In fact, this is one way weblogs will (hopefully) expand into law firms; it will start with a lawyer in a firm posting (by e-mail or intranet, depending on capability) new and interesting developments in his or her practice area, on a regular basis. Too often, lawyers have all sorts of practice information they could be sharing with their partners and associates — an internal weblog provides an easy means of communication. The specialty blawgs you see today provide resources in those practice areas to lawyers who might not otherwise have access to such information.
I think non-specialty law blogs are important to the profession as well, for several reasons. First, they show that lawyers are people too, and enjoy movies, being a grandmother, or wearing jewelry (okay, maybe he doesn’t enjoy wearing jewelry). Second, and as Bill points out, we are just learning about this whole weblog phenomena — cataloguing our personal experiences allows us to learn what works and what doesn’t, and hopefully improve the idea of weblogging in the process. Third, lawyers may have expertise or interests in areas other than their chosen practice field, and weblogs help them to expose other lawyers to these subjects.
Take a look at the Blawg Ring, and then try to define a “blawg.” There are currently 71 blawgs listed, in several different categories — lawyers, law students, law librarians, legal technologists, and others. Each contributes to the “blawgosphere” in its own unique way.