Bear Growls: Lawyers as Bloggers

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Alas, I must part company with our bruin friend in his most recent tongue-in-bear-cheek post at Saint Corbinian’s Bear:

Blogs are essential to the well-informed and motivated Catholic. Therefore, it is important to know which blogs are edifying, while avoiding the gimcrack offerings of slipshod shysters. To this end, the Bear offers the following qualifications you should demand from anyone who seeks your valuable time and attention. If you follow the Bear’s advice, you will avoid bloggers who are just sensationalistic click-prostitutes out to make a buck.

The kind of blogger you want must combine the following education and experience.

A blogger must be able to persuade people to follow the right course of action. Someone equally skilled in forensic debating and arguing before regular folks is required. To give an example of someone who should not be in Catholic media is a journalist. Journalists strive to maintain a detached objectivity. Is that who we’re looking for in these dark days? No. We need advocates!

A good blogger should be able to sort out competing claims using a well-developed instinct. He should be able to employ relentless questioning to wring the truth out of unwilling witnesses. He must have a razor sharp intellect.

A good blogger, it goes without saying, should be more than a pretty face. In fact, good looks are definitely not a requirement, because, after all, this is not television! He should be capable of writing his own material, employing all the tools of the wordsmith: interview, narrative, analysis, and even humor and irony. He must be persuasive, even as he remains fair and accurate.

A good blogger is capable of doing his own tireless research. He must be able to put together the jigsaw puzzle of complicated situations, and determining the means, motives and opportunities of the various actors.

If you look at these qualifications, you’ll see that there is really only one profession that should be allowed to blog:

Lawyers.

The blogger must have a JD. Lawyers are even licensed, so you know they’re legit. Are journalists licensed? No. Anybody can call himself a journalist and scribble for whoever will hire him.

But, still, something is missing. Not just any lawyer will do. Not even a good one. He must have an appeal that combines scary and cute.

When necessary, he should have the talent to employ the Old Razzle Dazzle. This requires extensive experience in secular show business:

It’s all show business kid,
These trials, the whole world, show business.
But kid, you’re workin’ with a star, the biggest!

So, unless your blogger combines all of these qualifications, he’s just in it for the money and should be avoided at all costs. 

 

 

 

Go here to read the rest.  I object to this contention!  Lawyers might very well make the worst bloggers for the following reasons:

  1. The Law has a deadening impact on one’s writing style.  Legalese could only be written and read by those paid to do so, because no one sane would otherwise come near it.
  2. Lawyers being hired guns, a somewhat sophistical frame of mind tends to suffuse the profession.
  3. Lawyers, with all apologies to used car salesmen, undertakers and realtors, tend to be the most cynical people around.
  4. Lawyers often confuse saying something with doing something.
  5. The usual hourly rate for blogging of $0.00 per hour would be far too low for most attorneys.
  6. Lawyers, spending most of their lives either in court or in their legal dens, are frequently the last people to look to for information about the real world.
  7. Lawyers tend to be very boring people, just ask any judge.
  8. Bloggers often need a broad view of the world and that is not lawyers, at least after three years of law school and five years of practice.
  9. Although one would think that trial advocacy skills would be helpful for blogging, most lawyers never stand before a jury unless they are being sentenced themselves.
  10. Blogging requires a sense of humor, an attribute clearly lacking in most lawyers!

Yep, lawyers make the worst bloggers!

 

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15 Comments

  1. Lawyers are usually horrible bloggers, having given up on plain English in favor of the bastardized language of the law…

    But I do love old Rumpole, one of my all time favorite series; Leo McKern was absolutely perfect as the world-weary barrister observing and commenting on all things legal with equal parts irony and poetry. Anyone’s who’s practiced in criminal courts will find much that rings true.

  2. I tend to disagree, Tom. Of course, lawyers talking ABOUT law will necessarily delve into legalese. However, the majority of lawyers, especially among the younger, blogging, set, prefer plain language. See, e.g., http://sardonicexcuria.blogspot.com/2015/09/fisking-hoya.html

    With that said, not having conducted a massive survey of lawyer-bloggers (being familiar only with Prawfsblawg, Mirror of Justice, certain American Catholics authors, and the Volokh Conspiracy, all of which are very clear writers), my own writing does not disprove the contention. In fact, there may BE no way to disprove the contention…or for that matter, to prove it.

  3. You may be right, Jonathan. I can’t lay claim to having read many blogs by lawyers regularly, AC excepted.

    Ha, just remembered Rumpole’s favorite Shelley snippet, usually uttered after some clash with She Who Must Be Obeyed:

    “We look before and after; and pine for what is not;
    Our sincerest laughter with some pain is fraught.”

  4. I must disagree, Mr. McClarey. Accountants make far worse bloggers than lawyers.
    This is why there are so few accountants who even attempt blogging.
    Accountants get to deal with legalese in writing notes to financial statements.
    Accountants get to deal with numbers until brain cells can not process anything of intelligence.
    Lawyers make better money and have better stories to tell.
    Both accountants and lawyers instantly know when someone is lying.
    Keep up the good work.

  5. My job is dull, but my life isn’t. Not with a seven year old car, a seven year old son, a three year old son and a Latin American Jesuit educated wife.

    I need a lion tamer to get my seven year old to do his homework, and to get the three year old to go to bed, and to …….I better stop.

  6. Of course you are correct Donald but there are rare exceptions when the lawyer in question is a good, practicing, orthodox Catholic. The Bear may be one of these. I tend to think so.

  7. I need to stick up for lawyers. My late father was a lawyer as is my brother and some cousins.

    As for quality writing, it you could write well before well, you should be able to write well after you start practicing. As for the “deadening” effect you could probably find it in any field, medicine, IT or even chartered accountancy.

    Since lawyers are getting paid $0.00 for otherwise billable hours the must care a lot about the subjects they blog about. The same can’t be said about some kid living in his paent’s basement or even somebody with a regular 40 hr/wk job.

    Lastly, some lawyers can make even the law interesting such as the Volokh Conspiracy any the unfortunately named Popehat.

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