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Wednesday, March 05, 2003

A Look Back, A Look Ahead

Last year today, I was doing research for what would become an article on legal blogging. Ernie's page was just a few days old. There were some other sites I hadn't found yet, but not too many. When all was said and done and the article went to print, I had added six or so weblogs written by legal professionals to my blogroll and dubbed them "blawgs."

Today, there are well over two hundred of you over there and out there, and my opinion about all this remains much as it was a year ago: blogging could be one of the best things to happen to the legal profession since Dick the Butcher and Jack Cade proved unable to execute their tongue-in-cheek yet utopian vision. (For further context, see Seth Finkelstein.)

Legal professionals on the whole are a savvy lot. They know about the pros and cons of durable records. They know how to leave the house or office and carry on conversations with acquaintances and strangers that comport with their ethical and fiduciary obligations. They know how not to give legal advice when they shouldn't, and yet how to communicate their knowledge, expertise and personality. They know how to experiment, ponder, make mistakes and correct them. Sometimes they know how to be cute, sometimes they know how to be sedate.

I honestly can't predict what looking back a year from March 5, 2004 will be like, but one thing seems clear: weblogs already are changing the legal profession—and legal professionals—for the better, and we barely have arrived at square one. Extraordinary untapped potential remains. Mae West, I think, had it just about right. Too much of a good thing can be by turns wonderful and taxing, but he who hesitates is a damned fool.

(May West quotes nicked from here; see also David Maizenberg's non anti-blogging article, If Bork Had Blogged, via TVC Alert.)

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