Friday, May 13, 2005

 

Is it Wise and Ethical for Summer Associates (or any associates) to Blog? Finally my POV - sort of . . .

I promised to address this question a couple of days ago but I've been sidetracked by a far more important and pressing question:

Is it wise and ethical for me to blog? (BTW, to clear up confusion - I am not a summer associate- I am a third year associate).

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:
1. Is there anything in my blog that - as a legal employer - you would find objectionable or worrying?
2. If you were my employer, do you think I have an obligation to tell you about my blog?
3. Do you think you are entitled to have input into my blog and how much?
4. What would be the best way to approach you and tell you about my blog and get your support and endorsement?
5. If you were me, would you be concerned about my employer's reaction to my blog and why?
6. Which is riskier: to tell my employer about it or to remain anonymous and avoid posting anything that will clue my employer in to who I am?
7. Am I missing anything?
Love the Lawgirl

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