Sunday, August 13, 2006

Happy 1st Birthday to Rule of Law Blog

A year-and-a-half ago, I had never heard of a blog. In June 2005, I met for coffee with Dave Bilinsky, who is a practice advisor with the Law Society of British Columbia. I am a fan of Dave’s, and I asked him to meet with me to get some ideas to help me gradually move my practice orientation to a practice more focused on wills, estate planning, and estate litigation. Dave made several suggestions, including that I start a blog.

I spent a couple of months reading blogs to get some ideas. On August 13, 2005, I posted my first article. I was not sure if I would think of enough things to write about, or have the time or discipline to post regularly.

A year later, I find that I have no difficulty in finding things to write about. I have more ideas on topics than time to write them. I find writing posts to be enjoyable. It feels like more of a hobby, than work.

Has the blog affected the amount of work that I am getting? I know of a few people who have contacted me after reading my blog, and my wills, estate planning and estate litigation practice is continuing to grow. But, my blog is not the only way I market my practice. In the short term, I don't know if "Rule of Law" has had a dramatic effect on the volume of work.

The impact that my blog has had on my practice and on me is subtler.

When I write, I step back from the immediate issues I am dealing with in my practice, and consider the broader legal and policy issues. I also read the latest wills, trust and estate cases from the British Columbia courts closely, so that I can write about them.

Because I am writing for everyone, from people with little or no knowledge of the law looking for basic information, to other lawyers, I have to work at writing in a way that anyone can understand. This improves my writing skills--or at least I hope it does.

I also read other blogs. In doing so, I learn about the law in other places, and get new ideas. I especially enjoy reading the other wills, trust and estate blogs. I feel that I am a part of a larger legal community, extending beyond my own province of British Columbia.

Writing a blog is invigorating.

Do I recommend writing a blog to lawyers and other professionals? It depends. If you enjoy writing about what you do and believe in, then I can’t think of anything better. If not, there are plenty of other ways to market your business.

But, I don’t really think of my blog as a marketing tool anymore. It is an end-in-itself.

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