Update: As noted below, the redesigned blog should be up at some point Tuesday, perhaps late – a new post will follow thereafter. If it’s Tuesday and you’re seeing this blog post and the old design first, it’s coming later in the day. Promise.
Every good superhero story needs an origin story. I’m not a superhero but I’ve got a super origin story to tell.
You may have heard it before, but humor me. I’m turning 10.
You see it was ten years ago, in a hotel conference room in where my life changed.
Of course, like lots of such “a-ha” moments that people have, I didn’t realize it at the time.
(Pause here to acknowledge that there are plenty of moments you know are going to be big: kids, marriages, your first iPhone).
I was at the Spring Conference for the American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division in, of all places, Canada. Montreal, to be specific.
He talked about how lawyers could set up a law blog. Sounded interesting.
At the time, I kinda thought I was late to the party. But I had long since wanted to do some type of writing – a remnant from my days as an editor on my college newspaper.
If you had asked me, I probably would’ve said that I just wanted to have my own New York Times op-ed piece.
(Pause here for having to explain to my kids how we used to read The New York Times in paper form etc.)
And so, over the summer months of 2007, I worked with Kevin’s company to design a blog.
What should it be called? Well, lawyers should have a geographic area and a practice area, I heard Kevin say to me.
What do you think about “Connecticut Employment Law Blog”, I asked? Sure, that sounds specific enough.
(Pause here to reflect on names I could’ve used, like “Dan’s Uber Employment Law Blog” or “Snapchatting About Employment Law”.)
And then in September 2007 — ten years ago this month — I was ready to launch. You can see my first “Welcome” post here.
For the first few years, I used to joke that the blog didn’t make me a better lawyer — only “Google” search results suggested I was by moving this blog to the top of the charts.
(Pause here to say my best party trick is telling people to Google “Connecticut Employment Law”. There’s now something called “EmploymentLawHandbook” that pretends to be number 1 sometimes– someone tell Google.)
But after 10 years, I’m not quite sure that’s accurate anymore. I’ve come to conclude that the blog has improved my life in immeasurable ways, which is why it’s so valuable as a “origin” story.
Here are three things I think about:
- I’ve met amazing people through the blog. Readers, fellow lawyer bloggers, special clients, technology people, reporters, and more. Perhaps I would’ve met a few of them somehow, but the blog has expanded my own horizons. And in turn, I’ve learned a lot more than I ever would’ve though about employment law, the state of the legal profession, and myself.
- Writing nearly every day helps shape your own writer’s voice. You start to hear yourself when you write and, like riding a bike, it just gets easier the more you do it. That, in turn, has helped my legal writing as well. I’ve become less afraid to experiment more with my legal writing. To write shorter sentences. To speak directly to the reader. To be direct.
- Rather than be “late” to the party, I’ve come to realize that I was early. In fact, when Twitter and Facebook took off, I wasn’t nearly as afraid to use them for professional and personal purposes. Instead, I realized that they were opportunities to expand my network and learn more from others.
The last time this blog was redesigned was back in 2011. That is the look you still see today, Monday.
But with some luck and a lot of perseverance (as well as continued help from Lexblog — which has become a partner to me), this blog gets relaunched tomorrow.
What will that look like? What will happen? Stay tuned for tomorrow’s post where I look at where this blog goes forward.
Day One of the new Connecticut Employment Law Blog begins tomorrow. (Probably late in the day, tomorrow if you’re really paying attention.)