Tuesday, July 21, 2009

The End of a Blog

Every now and I then I think about when I will stop this blog. I never thought about stopping after graduating law school because I never thought law school defined the story I was telling. But I wonder- will I still be writing in 5 years? 10? What will I have to say that I haven't said before? With a job I can only talk about in an oblique manner and children who are older and deserving of increased privacy, will I have anything to write that people want to read? Do I have some obligation to continue updating? It seems odd to feel a duty to those you've never met, but I know that I wonder and worry about bloggers who have fallen away. I continue to think of them at times and hope they are doing well. I miss sharing in their daily adventures and I occasionally check their old url to see if they've come back.

I know a lot of people stop writing for fear of retribution from their law firms or other employers should they find out an employee is writing a blog that mentions work. I like to think that when done properly, blogging and employment can coexist. I don't want to ignore the fact that I am a full-time attorney, it is a big part of my life and why I want to share it. When I was in law school I found dozens of blogs by law students and law student mothers and they were an invaluable resource for me at that time, but I couldn't find many stories from practicing attorneys. Undoubtedly part of this is the time commitment involved, but there is also a sense that now that you are working you can no longer talk about that major part of your life in any way and that's really too bad. No one in my family had been a professional working woman with a young child, and even though I knew I would find my own way, I longed for more examples of those who were happily and successfully living this life. I think our story is a valuable one and I know that I have gained much by reading the tales of others.

These thoughts were prompted when a blogger friend of mine (you may have seen her on my blog roll on the right, we'll call her "ND" and she was a single mother and public interest lawyer) was forced to take her blog down very suddenly. She wasn't allowed to say goodbye to her readers or offer any explanation as to why her blog suddenly disappeared, and I know she is very sad about this. ND had a unique story to tell and she told it with humor, wit, compassion, and an amazing love for her daughter. Please don't mention the name of her blog in any comments to this post, but should you wish to say goodbye to her, she is reading and would love to hear from you. I know I will greatly miss her presence on the interwebs and hope she continues proving "it can be done" as a single parent with loans on a public-interest salary.

For me, I hope to continue writing until I no longer have anything interesting to say (assuming of course, that half of what I write now is interesting). I hope that any decision to stop writing is my own. I hope to have a chance to say goodbye to you, my wonderful readers who have been through so much with me over the past 2.5 years (See for example Nightmare, The and much of May 2008). In the meantime I hope to give someone like me, pregnant and googling variations "baby and career," a happy, honest example of someone combining both of those things. I think it matters that we working women and parents can share our struggles and successes and I'm very sad that ND will no longer be bringing her unique and frequently hilarious voice to the table. ND, you will be greatly missed in the blogosphere and we wish you all the best.


  1. I feel the same as you-that there has to be a place where blogging and work can mix- if done properly. I'm so glad you will continue your blog! It was the first one I found when I discovered I was pregnant in law school over a year ago. It was such a huge comfort and the topics of your posts were so applicable to my own life! I think you are right that there needs to be more examples of successful working mothers out there! keep on writing!

  2. I hope you keep writing for a long time. I really enjoy your blog.

    To ND: I hope the house you posted picture of worked out for you and that your beautiful daughter continues to thrive. I'll miss your blog.

  3. I chimed in on another blog but ND - I miss your blog and wish you and your LO all the happiness in the world.

    To LL - I'm always curious if your firm knows you have a blog. I wonder if you could spin it to where you could blog for the firm too? My firm's capital markets group has a blog that's pretty well read and generates some leads actually.

  4. I hope you keep at it. My guess is that many of us keep reading because we simply enjoy seeing how someone else makes it all work. That's why I started reading. And it's why even your "boring" posts are great. If we're lucky, life is kind of boring. We're all looking for examples of how to make that happen.

  5. oh, and LL (anon 11:03 here), i love your blog and hope you keep it. while, as a long time reader, i can tell that you're a lot more of an optimist than i will ever be, it's great to see your life and career play out.

  6. ND, I'm so sorry. This made me so sad. I wish you the very best.

    LL, I hope in the long run you (are able to?) keep writing. You are inspiring, and I care so much about your little family even though I've never met you!
    Thank you many times over for your perspective and insights.

    Best, MJS

  7. I keep thinking about ND's blog's fate. I keep wondering, "What if it were a published, hard copy book? What if her thoughts/opinions/words had been distributed in pamphlet form? There'd be no way to make THAT disappear." It almost feels like a punishment for using the web as the medium of choice. It just feels like a violation. Something has been stolen from us. It's not fair. You know what should be done? A conference call! Setup some 800 number and we can dial in and hear your thoughts. I miss your thoughts. I miss you.

    Of course I'm joking about the 800 number, and I realize the First Amendment does not guarantee a spot on blogger or wordpress or the like. But wouldn't a password-protected podium be permissable? Please consider it. If you ever manage to resurface in any guise, please add me to the list of your devoted following. Don't forget us. We'll never forget you, either.

  8. Oh, man! ND was always one of my favs. I was wondering where she went..
    LL-could you let us know what happened with ND's blog? You don't have to go into detail or reveal anything private. I'm not asking bc I'm nosy, just because I have a blog of my own and often blog about work. I'm a bit worried now though, it's alarming that her blog was taken away so abruptly. Is there something you can let us working women know regarding blogging about work, to avoid aving the same problem as ND (I'm assuming something bad happened)
    Just a PSA would be nice, thanks!

  9. I hadn't heard about ND's blog being taken down. That is awful. I will miss her and her stories about little d very much.

  10. I've had these thoughts too. I really don't blog (much) about law school, so I can't see myself writing much about whatever job I manage to land afterwards. Vague generalities, certainly. But my blog has always just been about my life and all the randomness swirling inside my brain, not so much about *what* I'm doing schooling/work wise. Still, I wonder when it will end for me. After graduation? Later? Will I blog somewhere else, as myself? Who knows...

    I've already said it on several of the other blogs who have posted this same "goodbye" message for ND. I can only assume she wrote it, since they're all the same? Well, whatever the reason she had to stop blogging she will be missed. I truly hope that nothing too horribly bad happened to her, as the tributes are quite cryptic (and I understand why they would need to be if people are still scouring the internet for her, which is the impression I get).
    I do echo Anon 12:57, though, that aside from just caring what happened to ND it is a little concerning that if the problem was the content of her blog it might be helpful for the rest of us (so as not to "lose" more bloggers in the future!) to have a *general* sense of what was such a problem. I realize, though, that this might not be possible.

  11. i completely agree that it feels unfair that bloggers who are attorneys generally have to stop blogging, or are forced to blog only about non-job related things. i used to blog avidly, i loved it, it was fun, it was expressive. but i stopped somewhere in my first year of law school because of what i saw coming.

    i think we just have to realize how truly easy it is to piece together the identity of a blogger from not too many details. and as attorneys, ours jobs aren't just about us - we are the fiduciaries of our clients. every discussion of our work in a public venue reflects on our clients. an inadvertent disclosure on a blog that seems miniscule might be anything but unimportant to the client. i'm not sure if ND got cut off for that type of reason, but i think it's extremely understandable for a client to react negatively when they find out associates are blogging about their case - even if it is in seemingly general terms.

    and moreover (can you tell i'm an attorney?), partners don't like being talked about online. period. no one does really, without their permission, and when people have blogs, they inevitably talk about the people with whom they work. i know i would never have been able to write about the partners i work with on a blog, even if it was not something "bad," because it is just extremely unlikely that someone from the firm would not have stumbled onto my blog and would be reading my characterization of the partner.


    but yes. it does suck. but at least your friend just had her blog shut down and she wasn't dooce'd!

  12. You gave me a bit of a start with the title to this post. Glad to see you're not going anywhere. Yet, anyway.

    The things we do. I have two blogs and while I don't mind the readers of my personal blog knowing about my professional one, I do try to keep the spillover from going the other way. Notice I said try, it's not like it doesn't happen.

    But even though it's not an employer that concerns me (it does help in that regard to be self-employed), I tend to think that if the readers of the legal blawg see my rants and ravings on the other side, they might just write me off as a nut case. Not that that would be terribly inaccurate but still...

    It's definitely a challenge to work for a law firm and keep blogging. As it is in some other occupations - my favourite military blogger disappeared abruptly when his blog was yanked by someone higher up in the chain of command who apparently didn't appreciate some of his musings on his superior officers.

    But I am glad you have been able to make it work so far and hope you will be able to keep it up for a long time to come. You are performing a valuable other young female lawyers and wanna-be lawyers out there. And for the rest of us, you are lots of fun to read and follow. :D

  13. Glad to see I wasn't the only one who saw the post title and thought it was about you!

  14. Ah, please don't leave yet! You've been such an inspiration to me - and now, I'm less than 2 months away from taking the LSAT!!! Seriously - you make me believe that I can DO this law school thing, even with a toddler and a kindergartener... STAY!