It’s been a long time since I’ve written about the law with any consistency. I started as a newspaper editor in August 2000 with Today Newspapers In Texas. The following year I won my first Stephen H. Philbin Award for Excellence in Legal Reporting. I went on to win that award three years in a row.
I might have won it again had I not been snatched up to serve in Iraq for a year with my National Guard unit. It’s an honor to be among a handful of people (Yes, you can count us on one hand) who have won the Philbin Award three times.
But that’s enough reminiscing.
I’ve spent the last couple of years dreaming of getting back into reporting on legal news. As fate would have it, I was recently hired by AVVO to write a few blog posts for the NakedLaw Blog. This is about as close to legal journalism as I’ve been in quite a while.
Legal Reporting v. Legal Blogging
It’s not exactly legal journalism, however. I categorize it as legal blogging. First, because I’m not really reporting on anything. The stories I’ve written so far aren’t as much about informing people of changes or events taking place in the law as they are about getting comments from lawyers and other legal experts about specific questions related to the law. That’s more akin to blogging than reporting.
Secondly, with journalism, the goal is to highlight an aspect of public life in a particular niche (in this case, law) that is of interest to a segment of the population and to inform that segment about details which give them an opportunity to participate in the dialogue or take meaningful action, if necessary. With blogging, the goal is simply to be a commentator, although commentary can be as informative or entertaining as journalism and may still spur readers on to action. In my case, I took some blog posts on assignment, and I’m glad I did.
So far, I’ve completed three articles for the NakeLaw Blog with one more on the way. Only one of them, as of now, is published. Look for the others soon.
So what topics have I written about? Here’s the list:
- Why tailgate parties are legal
- Right-to-Try laws for the terminally ill
- U.S. employee rights regarding holidays
The story I’m working on now, due
this coming Friday to publish soon, about how to make legal services more accessible to the underserved in the U.S.
This is exciting to me. I like writing about the law. This is a step in the right direction for me in my career. If you are an attorney and would like to be on my expert sources list, fill out my contact form and let me know your specialty. If you are interested in someone who can parse complex topics related to the law and make them simple, then consider hiring me for your next blog post on a legal topic or other legal writing-related gig.