By Michele Jochner • November 21, 2016•Issues, Mentoring and Networking, Women and Law in the Media
Early in my career, I entered a writing contest … and won! Thus began my career-long love of writing and publishing. In mentoring many law students and young lawyers, I always suggest that writing and being published is a key to distinguishing yourself from the crowd, while also becoming a better lawyer in the process.
Back in the day, publishing was done only on paper, and involved quite a bit of lag time not only between writing the article and finally seeing it in print, but also in obtaining feedback from readers. Today, in contrast, publishing via a blog on the Internet provides a great opportunity to quickly weigh-in on issues of interest and obtain timely feedback from your audience. Through your writing, you can quickly create a strong reputation and gain visibility within your community.
First, it is a plain and simple truth that spending time writing makes you a better writer. Committing to a blog forces you to write on a regular basis – which is a plus in your day job, where strong and persuasive writing is a key to winning.
Along these same lines, writing a blog also helps you gain knowledge in your area of practice. Committing to regularly writing on certain topics keeps you tuned-in to the latest developments and on the cutting-edge of what is happening. Developing substantive, thoughtful content requires research and analysis that will, again, also be of benefit in your legal practice.
In turn, constantly being on the cutting-edge over time allows you to expand the depth of your knowledge and to exhibit expertise in your area as you begin to feel more comfortable with the topics and with weighing-in on the issues. Just creating a blog, however, does not transform you into an expert, as anyone can do that. The goal is to regularly post well-written and insightful articles that reflect your experience in the area and inspire confidence in your handling of these topics. That will, in time, create a positive reputation, raise your visibility and enhance your credibility.
Be mindful, however, that this does not happen overnight. You need to remain faithful, steadfast and committed to your blog, even though you also have an overflowing plate full of work and personal obligations. Accordingly, time management is essential to your success.
If you are true to all these principles, your efforts will pay off and you will begin to be viewed as an expert on your topic. In addition, your skills as an attorney will also be enhanced. Other valuable opportunities will likely follow, such as additional writing gigs, speaking engagements and recognition by way of awards and honors.
Finally, blogging has an added side-benefit: it can be a great way to channel your creative energy into something that is enjoyable and fulfilling.
So … what are you waiting for? It is never too early …or too late … to get started. Do so, and reap the rewards!