Listen Like a Lawyer’s Year-End Review

IMG_4525January 1, 2014 will begin the sixth month of Listen Like a Lawyer’s existence. In light of this benchmark as well as peer pressure from so many other blogs’ year-end reviews, this seems like a good moment to reflect on the blog’s brief past and to anticipate its future.

I am so grateful for the support received from many sources: colleagues at Emory Law School, where I teach legal writing, research, and advocacy; and many friends and acquaintances, both lawyers and non-lawyers, who have shared valuable contacts and relevant ideas about listening. Some lawyers have been particularly generous with their time, writing guest posts and giving interviews. Some of this content has already been published, and other content is yet to be published. For all who have allowed themselves to be associated with such a new endeavor, thank you!

For encouragement on the importance of listening skills for lawyers, I am especially grateful for the exchange of ideas with Professor Tami Lefko, Director of Legal Writing at Vanderbilt Law School. Professor Lefko and I look forward to our joint presentation on listening skills at the 2014 Legal Writing Institute Biennial Conference this summer.

The actual writing of the blog has involved elements of my experience as a lawyer, professor, and journalist. But blogging is a writing genre of its own. I am grateful to lawyer and blogger Dan Schwartz at the Connecticut Employment Law Blog, Professor Tim Terrell at Emory Law School, and lawyer Bard Brockman at Bryan Cave LLP for gently encouraging me to write shorter, more focused posts. I am working on it!

Just as there has been a learning curve for writing posts, there has also been a learning curve for sharing and distributing the blog. I am grateful to all who have retweeted, liked, and commented on Listen Like a Lawyer’s content. The blog has drawn interest from several communication experts, and I look forward to exploring and sharing their ideas on the blog in the year to come.

Looking to 2014, Listen Like a Lawyer will continue to offer weekly posts and curated tweets. The mix of content will continue to attempt to balance the interests of both law students and practicing lawyers. Of interest to both audiences, the blog will feature more interviews with experienced lawyers and legal professionals.

Please share your thoughts on what you’d like to see on Listen Like a Lawyer. Thank you! And Happy New Year to all. In the New Year, may we listen intently, compassionately, efficiently, strategically, and effectively. Please add your own adverbs in the comments below.

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