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Monday, October 10, 2005

Why do I blog?

I'm one of these people. Do I blog for the reasons opined in this article? Well, most of them.
Inside every lawyer, it is said, there is a brilliant writer, held back by professional ambition or by fear of failure. Nowhere is that truism more evident than in the explosion of online blogs by, for and about lawyers.
I wouldn't say I was fearful of failure. Failure breeds success. You can't succeed unless you have first discovered failure. But I am held back by ambition. Journalist don't earn enough to live in Auckland with a mortgage and kids. I actually always wanted to be an airline pilot. But I couldn't do physics and/or chemistry. Still can't. Then I wanted to be a journalist. I could always express myself and articulate an argument. But when I discovered (many moons ago) that journalism 'school' only took on 20 or so students per year I figured my school C English grade wouldn't cut the mustard (78% nevertheless). I'll never know now if I could have been that Holmes guy instead of Paul. Mind you, he's a boredcaster rather than a journalist. I digress.

There is the famous lawyer/blogger who contributed to the downfall of Dan Rather. But I'm a mere mortal by comparison.
"It's all words, that's all the law is," Scott Turow, a lawyer and the author of "Presumed Innocent" and other novels, said when asked to speculate on reasons for the proliferation of law-related blogs, sometimes called blawgs. When people think of law, he continued, "You think of jails and marshals and corporate executives. But the reality is, that's what it is - it's all words, and lawyers are verbal people, both in terms of the written stuff and the spoken stuff."
Yes, he's right. Law is words and grammar combined with a little common sense.
If lawyers are talking a lot online, perhaps that is not surprising - lawyers talk a lot offline.
Not this one. I hate the phone. Don't own a mobile and can talk a lot on the right topic but generally don't like the sound of my own voice that much.
Good lawyers write well, quickly and clearly and do not fear arguments, said Mr. Hinderaker of powerlineblog.com. "Most people's personalities are such that they don't really like conflict and are shy about putting arguments and opinions out in public where they're going to be attacked," he said. "Obviously lawyers do that all the time."

Lawyers may also find some of their day-to-day tasks unrewarding, he continued, and blogging offers a way to wield more influence in discussions of topics that they care about - especially politics. The law "is a business that attracts a lot of people who have quite a bit of ability and ambition," he said. "For many of them, their law practice doesn't fully satisfy that desire to play a part in the world."
Lawyers have to be tough. At least, good lawyers have to. It's very easy to get an average law degree and be an average lawyer. That's not what I want to be. Some of my tasks are unrewarding but then again many occupations are like that. The grass is always greener. What I can do is put together an argument in very short time, written or spoken. I've learnt that. What a Court lawyer has to do is to be able to look the Judge in the eye and say "sorry Sir, you're wrong and here's why..." and then stick to it. You may be wrong but you have to get your point formulated quickly, articulate it and then stick to it.

Finally, I don't fear argument either. I get them all day long. It can become tiresome (and I feel like throwing things a lot) but I know that I can let it all out on the 'sphere. Lucky me!
· Linked Article

Posted by Gooner | 10/10/2005 09:45:00 PM

5 Comments:

Blogger ZenTiger said...

And you are part of giving lawyers a good name!

And Paul for that matter (are you around, haven't seen you for a while?)

10/10/2005 10:42:00 PM  
Blogger Gooner said...

You would say that Zen! I'm not sure the lefties think that way. And yes, where art thou' Paul?

10/11/2005 08:39:00 AM  
Blogger Paul said...

Hi guys. I’ve been in an interesting part of the world where deep-fried mutton pies are considered a delicacy.

I have always thought that a good legal mind is one that can see a conclusion and efficiently work backwards to construct an argument to support that conclusion. Poor lawyers tend to do the opposite. Oddly enough Gooner, that’s exactly what a physicist does. A physicist will observe a phenomenon (conclusion at law) and work back to discover the formula (argument at law) that describes the phenomenon. Consider a basic example. The answer to a question is the speed of an object. We know that the Standard International unit for speed is meters per second, therefore the equation has to be distance over time. That approach to physics will yield an equation to every question asked provided the unit of the answer is known. That is why I think scientific minds make good legal minds (but possibly without the ability to write artfully!)

I think the same principles apply to rational thought. Those who tend to exhibit artistic talent gravitate toward the emotion of an argument that produces a conclusion. Those who regard themselves as more scientific than artistic tend to enjoy the principles of an argument that support a conclusion. I think that comments on partisan blogs are curiously illustrative of my point. I’m not suggesting that one is inherently better than the other, but it helps me understand why some hold views that are at odds with mine, and why others have difficulty considering the logic of an argument that supports a conclusion that is at odds with a strongly held ideological belief.

10/11/2005 11:45:00 AM  
Blogger Gooner said...

I agree with that argument construction theory. I was always quite good at Maths too which I know has helped me in my legal career as you have to get quite formulaic (sp.?) at times. I just didn't like Physics, Chemistry and Biology. But I did like Maths.

I prefer my mutton pies grilled.

10/11/2005 11:57:00 AM  
Blogger Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Paul, how are things in Hokitika?

10/11/2005 01:22:00 PM  

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