Although there is a whole new generation of bloggers that are told success is having enough keywords in a post to generate SEO, putting the blog high up on the Google chain and causing the flood gates to open with client calls, one of the true signs of a successful blog is that it generates discussion and debate.
And that happens here. I love it.
Much of this blog is my opinion. This comes from some experience, and I hope that someone, or even a few people take something from it that helps them.
But I'm not here for you, and I'm not here to be "nice," and I'm not here to tell you things that will make you feel better. I didn't start this blog to coddle the unemployed lawyers who went to law school only for the end goal of graduating and receiving their six-figure BigLaw check.
I prefer the truth. Always have.
So when I post about whether looking for "any job I can get is hurting you," I'm happy to read this comment:
It was not much fun reading some of the "There will be no jobs/Do you REALLY want to be a lawyer?" posts, especially as graduation/get a job/pass the bar pressure started to build.
Your emphasis on knowing what you want to do, getting to know the local legal community, and improvising on the job search (on a post last summer) was extremely valuable to me. Although it wasn't possible for me to work for free for a local attorney, in the hopes of getting a future job, I was able to negotiate with the three-attorney firm where I'd clerked since my first summer for continued employment. I don't make ideal money. I don't do ideal work. But I JUST started practicing, so I don't have the relationships with other lawyers and the courts that justify the big dollars. There are no perfect clients--just the ones who pay, and pay less for my time than my bosses'.
I can credit you with making crystal clear the importance of a realistic and flexible view of what I would be able to do with my degree and license. I don't see you as preaching from your very comfy chair with your feet up at all. You're further down the road trying to share your experience navigating this career. So I'll say a big fat "THANKS" for all the free, honest advice.
And I"m happy to read this comment:
No offense, but I'm so sick of the high and mighty job advice from people who got out of it and market not legal services but advice to all the other disgruntled lawyers. We may be BS artists, but the problem is we recognize it in you, BT. You have to get what you can get, and some of us get tired of hearing about how you should only do what you are passionate about, yada, yada, yada. You are dreaming! Moreover, you're just selling bullshit. So, give us all a break.
This is the type of dissenting view that is the enemy of those who spend their days convincing lawyers like me that I need to develop a personal brand. Sit on twitter for 5 minutes and you'll see lawyers "tweeting out" platitudes about themselves and other niceties, avoiding any dissenting opinion, criticism, or debate. Most of them barely practice law, or haven't practiced in years, so debating anything regarding the legal profession is done on the surface, or ignored because it's "negative."
I am a lawyer. I advocate. People disagree with me - normally the lawyers standing across the courtroom. I can take it. I actually like it. Without it, things would be pretty boring here.
So come, tell me you hate me, tell me you don't want to hear it anymore. Tell me I don't know what I'm talking about.
It's OK, this is why I'm passionate about what I do - it gives me the opportunity to listen to those who aren't.
Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. He is the author of I Got A Bar Complaint.