Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Why I Write: Reflections on the Ohio Employer’s Law Blog

Earlier this week, I was tagged in a “blog hop.” “What is a blog hop,” you ask? it is a blog-to-blog chain letter built around a common theme. The theme of this blog hop is writing. My good friend, and author of the Connecticut Employment Law Blog, Dan Schwartz, tagged me in his blog hop. Given that he called me a blogging “rock,” and “great person,” how could I not take up his challenge and continue the chain (especially since Dan and I started our respective blogs within a few months of each all the way back in 2007, and I respect him as much as anyone else in the legal blogosphere).

What am I working on?

The Ohio Employer’s Law Blog (of course). I started my blog in 2007 to fill a niche. There were only a few lawyers blogging in the Cleveland area, and none on labor and employment law. “What a great way to differentiate myself,” I thought. I also love the creative aspect of writing, a love which my blog lets me sate in spades. Let’s face it, no lawyer ever won a prize for the most creative opposition brief. The blog has also let me spread my wings. cross-publishes every post I write on a blog it calls The Practical Employer. I also write a monthly column for Workforce Magazine, and serve on its editorial advisory board. My blog has also allowed me to publish a couple of books (The Employer Bill of Rights and Think Before You Click). In short, the blog has opened up opportunities for me that nothing else could have, and for that I am grateful.

How does my writing differ from others of its genre?

Legal writing is, well, boring and impersonal. I try to break that stereotype. For one, I write about my personal life. I believe that you cannot understand one’s take on an issue unless you under that which influences that person’s life view. So, I’ve written about my wife, my daughter, my son, and even my dog. I’ve also written about vacations (with the kids and without), concerts, and German daughters. Each of these posts provides a glimpse into who I am when I’m not a lawyer, which, in turn, influences who I am as a lawyer. I also try to have fun. I love it when someone emails or tweets their appreciation for a punny title or song reference.

Why do I write what I write?

I write what I write out of love. I know that sounds trite, but I love to write. The Internet is a junk yard of discarded blogs. I am proud that I’ve posted every work day for more than seven years. But, you cannot do that if you write for any reason other than love. I have a passion for labor-and-employment law and a passion for writing. This blog lets me combine the two in a way that I hope is unique and different for my readers.

How does my process work?

The question I am most often asked is some variation of, “Geez, you must spend a lot of time blogging. How do you find the time to blog and practice law?” The reality is that after seven years, it’s not as time intensive as it looks. I consume a ton of information, mostly from Twitter and Feedly. I bookmark those stories or cases that look blog-worthy. I do most of my writing early in the morning or late at night. The speed at which I can post is helped by the fact that I’m not writing law review articles or case briefs. I try to give the quick summary of the issue, and then make a practical point or two for businesses to take away. My audience isn’t necessarily lawyers, so I don’t feel the need to give deep, searing legal analysis. Instead, I try to focus on the practical.

Please check out my blogging friends

Every Friday, I share a list of what I’ve read that week. Weekly, each of the following usually makes an appearance, so the fact that I am tagging them to continue this blog hop shouldn’t surprise them or you:
As for me, I’m taking an extended holiday weekend. Enjoy your 4th, and I’ll see everyone back on Monday morning.