Jason Gavejian is a principal attorney at Jackson Lewis PC‘s Berkeley, New Jersey office. He is the co-leader of the firm’s Privacy, Data, and Cybersecurity practice group and counsels regional, national, and international companies on issues of privacy, electronic communications and media, digital rights, and more. He additionally represents clients on the management side of employment litigation. In 2009, Jason co-founded Jackson Lewis’ Workplace Privacy, Data Management & Security Report Blog, which is dedicated to reporting legal developments, workplace risks, and government input on data and privacy issues. He is still a co-author today.

Episode Summary:

Jason begins by discussing how he and his practice have handled the unprecedented nature of the last year and then clarifies what exactly his practice does. He then elaborates on how the pandemic impacted what he was blogging about, including data breaches and workplace matters. He then discusses why he decided to launch the Workplace Privacy, Data Management & Security Report Blog. Jason explains how the blog benefits not only clients but also attorneys within the firm and how it has evolved since 2009 when it began. Jason then talks about who his audience is. He also tells us about how the blog relates to his efforts as the co-leader of Jackson Lewis’ Hispanic Attorney Resource Group, which works to increase the firm’s visibility among Hispanic-American and other minority attorneys. He describes his relationship and the work balance on the blog with his co-author, Joseph Lazarrotti as well as how he’s able to work blogging into his busy schedule as an attorney. Jason shares his personal advice for writing a good blog post as well as his own opinion on blogging’s role in the legal industry. He then goes into how they expand and build their audience and why blogging has been an overall positive influence on his practice. The conversation closes with Jason offering some advice for new bloggers, specifically in his niche.

Here’s the full episode and, down below, we have a selection of the best exchanges:

 

Can you tell us a little bit about your practice and what you do?

As of January 1st, I co lead of our privacy and cybersecurity group at Jackson Lewis. In my practice, I provide advice and counsel and litigation defense to organizations on data privacy and data security-related matters. While I’m based here in New Jersey, my practice is really nationwide and sometimes international. Given the nature of the topics that I’m dealing with, many of my clients have operations in multiple jurisdictions. I also handle class actions for clients or single-plaintiff claims related to privacy, whether that’s under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) or other legislation or even claims related to data breach or individual privacy rights. As you can imagine these issues are constantly evolving and changing, and they create new challenges for us as attorneys and for our clients. But I enjoy the topic, really, in my view on the cutting edge. I also like speaking and obviously writing on this topic which is what we’re going to cover today. I find that blogging on a topic of interest to you or a client is a great way to learn all about it and figure out all the issues at play.

What led you to launch a blog in the first place?

Well, my co-leads in the practice group and I sat down, and the firm was starting to explore the option of getting into blogging. We immediately identified it as an area where we could reach a broader audience, and at the same time we’ll develop a strong knowledge base for ourselves and get ourselves out there as potential thought leaders in the space. So while it’s certainly a great business development tool, and we viewed it through that lens, it also allows us to provide a great value to clients. Thinking back to 2009, I remember  the first few posts that we had or even the first few months that we were posting, you’d be able to track how many  subscribers you had, and the numbers were often in the single digits. Now, this past year, we had tens of thousands of subscribers and users. So, it takes time, but it’s great to see that we’ve gotten some reward for the effort we’ve put in.

How did 2020 impact your work and blogging?

2020 created a lot of challenges. COVID obviously had a huge impact. Our group took a lot of work from our existing clients or prospective clients related to the employee screening process, like. when you’re taking temperatures of individuals or asking symptoms based questions or travel these questions. All of those types of inquiries have privacy and ADA concern, as employers were looking to do testing for their employees or even in some cases for customers. Additionally, rolling out vaccines and biometric facial recognition software have privacy and security issues so we tried to stay on top of those from a blogging perspective, so that our readership can certainly understand those issues and identify them. But at the same time, we also wanted to make sure that other firm blogs and other firm avenues were picking up on this content as well. So, whether it was on our blog or some of the other COVID-19 resources that we developed specifically to address the pandemic, we were trying to write on a lot of those types of COVID-19 topics as we navigate the existing privacy and data security landscape and those issues which we’re always going to be writing about.

In the 12 years you’ve been blogging, what have you learned about what makes a good blog post?


I
think it’s developed. Certainly developed over time. I take the approach that I learned in college from one of my mentors. If you really know when you’re talking about a topic or expert on a particular topic, you should be able to explain it to anybody in simple terms. So that’s really the approach that we’ve had with a blog from the start. And I think it’s something that we need to continue to remind ourselves, especially as this area of the law develops, and some of the things that we deal with can be very dense. For example, getting into HIPAA regulation can cause you to lose an audience very quickly. So, ensuring that over time we continue to focus in on making the content short easily digestible and getting a clear message across to our readership has been key for us I believe.

Do you think the role of blogging in the legal field has evolved since you began blogging?

Absolutely. I think if you look back 12 years ago. It was not, we were probably in the minority of firms by blogging. Now, you would be hard-pressed to find a firm of any size that does not have a blog structure in place or a platform that allows their attorneys, or their thought leaders, to express their views and make sure that they’re getting that content out there. So, if you’re not in the game, you certainly should be. I never think it’s too late, but I think you are a little bit behind where everybody else is currently.

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Sophia Singh

I am a senior at Fordham University Rose Hill in the Bronx, majoring in political science and English with a history minor. I plan to attend law school after graduating. My writing on tenants’ rights in New York was inspired by my own…

I am a senior at Fordham University Rose Hill in the Bronx, majoring in political science and English with a history minor. I plan to attend law school after graduating. My writing on tenants’ rights in New York was inspired by my own experiences listening and learning from Bronx residents.

You can reach me at ssingh77@fordham.edu