As we continue our interview series with the LexBlog Network members on the Blawg 100, blog co-editor Karen Rubin fielded a few questions about how she blogs, what her favorite post is, and how she knows when she’s struck gold.
What discipline have you set up for yourself to help your blogging process?
I’m a morning person, so I make myself sit down at home first thing every Sunday morning and just do it! Being away from the office helps; so does a big mug of good coffee. When I began blogging 2+ years ago, I challenged myself to post every week without fail, and I’m proud that I’ve been able to do that. Our blog is on legal ethics, so I all week long, I read as widely as I can in that niche area: cases, other bloggers, academic pieces, news stories. That makes it fairly easy for me to pick a topic for my weekly post. After that, it’s just a matter of using my dedicated writing time and cranking it out. My co-editor, Frank DeSantis, always has the final word, and his ideas shape my writing, too.
Do you have a favorite post?
I have a kind of morbid interest in the many ways lawyers can get themselves in ethics trouble – and of course, the desire to help them avoid the pitfalls. So some of my favorites are posts about the disciplinary travails of the lawyers involved in Bubba the Love Sponge’s trial in Florida, the lawyer who dropped the F-word in an insulting e-mail to opposing counsel, and the one who claimed sex addiction as a mitigating factor in his disciplinary case.
But other, more-tame, favorites are why law departments are so susceptible to phishing attempts; ethics issues with the Internet of Things; what the TV program “Better Call Saul” can teach us about professional conduct; and the ethics of “emergency lawyering.”
What does success look like to you; what makes a post feel great?
If I can put something of myself in a post – some connection that I feel to the subject matter – and if it’s a timely topic that resonates with our readers, and I can round it off with why it matters to the reader – that’s a great post.
Which bloggers do you follow, who inspires you (legal or not)?
Just a few of my favorites: Of course I always look at my curated daily LXBN feed, and always find things of interest there; Presnell on Privileges is great for that subject; SCOTUS blog for things from the highest court; Legal Profession Blog has cautionary tales of lawyer disciplinary woes every day. I admire the writers for Law360 – they can so clearly describe a case or issue. (Disclaimer, I’m on the Ethics Law360 advisory board.) Same with the legal journalists for BNA Lawyers’ Manual of Professional Conduct. And the law students I teach as an adjunct legal ethics professor.
Why do you think you made it on the Blawg 100? What sets you apart?
It’s a terrific honor to be named! I think that I and my co-editors at Thompson Hine – Frank DeSantis and Tom Feher — have a topic that’s really important, and we provide consistently good writing about timely issues. The blog has short posts, good design, nice graphics – I believe all those factors helped us be able to join this select group of excellent blogs.