Friday, May 13, 2005
Is it Wise and Ethical for Summer Associates (or any associates) to Blog? Finally my POV - sort of . . .
To be perfectly candid, Ambiguous what's-his-name has got me wondering (and worrying) about the implications of my blog for my own career. He has raised a number of ethical issues with respect to client confidentiality. While naturally, it's always a danger when pontificating on a particular subject that one could inadvertently reveal a client confidence. However, I intend to steer well clear of client matters on this blog, so I think the risk is reduced. I decided from the outset - as a matter of policy - not to blog about any of my cases or the clients my firm handles. To the extent I decide to blog about legal issues, I will handle them the way any lawyer would in an article for publication - as a mind-numbingly boring treatise peppered with as many idiotic hypotheticals I can think of.
I also have no intention of badmouthing or criticizing my current firm or any of its partners, associates or employees. I like my firm, enjoy working there, and would like to stay for a very long time.
I do post general criticisms about large firm practice - based on my experience at my previous firm - but I don't mention it by name or in sufficient detail for anyone to recognize it.
For now, I am blogging anonymously because I am new to the blogosphere and I'm not sure how it all works and what kind of problems will arise if and when I decide to "come out." I would like to come out at some point and hope to elicit the support of my firm (although not their interference - except if they think that something I post violates a client confidence, harms a client relationship or exposes the firm to liability).
If I do a good job with this blog, I hope that it will be an asset to the firm, although that was not my primary reason for creating it. My main reasons were (1) as an outlet for self-expression; (2) to provide information and entertainment to others; and (3) to get involved in an interesting, dynamic on-line community. So far, the experience is meeting all my goals and expectations. If I can build enough of a readership and develop enough trust with my readers, maybe some day, somewhere one of them will say "I need a lawyer - maybe I should hire that lawgirl." Who knows? It could happen.
Anyway, like the Ambrosiac Houligan (or whatever), I too seek your advice and input on the following questions: