Most of my legal career has been spent with at least one foot in legal publishing, media and journalism. I have been an editor, publisher, editorial director, magazine writer, blogger and podcaster. I’ve worked for ALM, Lawyers Weekly and Dolan Media, and contributed to Above the Law, the ABA Journal, Law Practice magazine and dozens of other publications, blogs and websites.
But I’ve been worried about the state of legal media. The traditional media on which we’ve relied is evaporating. As news staffs shrink and publications disappear, coverage of key issues is reduced or nonexistent. Whatever shrinking coverage remains is increasingly getting locked behind paywalls. Newer forms of legal publishing are emerging, but their primary focus is on pay to play – on getting law firms and vendors to pay them to be covered by them or to have their articles published.
However, there is one area of legal publishing in which coverage and analysis is increasing, in which key legal developments are regularly tracked, and where all of the content is free, no subscriptions required. It is a medium in which leading lawyers, academics, technologists, law librarians, consultants, vendors and other legal professionals are regularly contributing their insights and knowledge. It is, without doubt, the most vibrant area of legal publishing that exists.
I’m talking, of course, about blogging.
Name a legal topic. Name an aspect of practice. Name a jurisdiction. Someone is sure to be blogging about it. Whatever you want or need to keep up with in your own work, chances are good someone is blogging about it. Probably several someones.
That said, there has been one obstacle to consuming all this content. It is not easily found, intelligently aggregated or professionally curated.
That is why I am thrilled to announce that I am joining LexBlog as publisher and editor-in-chief of a new arm of the company that will make legal news, information and analysis more easily and intuitively accessible to legal professionals and the public and that will shine a light on the many bloggers who are writing all this.
For many months now, LexBlog founder Kevin O’Keefe and I have been discussing the past and future of legal publishing. We have a vision for how to help legal professionals get easier and enhanced access to valuable legal content. And we have a vision for how to help the community of legal bloggers achieve greater visibility for their writing.
I start Jan. 1. In the coming weeks and months, both here and at LexBlog’s development blog, donuts.lexblog.com, I and others on the LexBlog team will be documenting our development process and keeping you posted as we roll out a new legal media network. As we do, we’d love to hear from you about what you think and what you’d like to see. Meanwhile, stay tuned.
P.S. For those who may be wondering, my work with LexBlog will be part-time, ensuring that I have time to continue to write this blog and to continue my lobbying work on behalf of the newspaper industry in Massachusetts.