JRCLS Sections Keep in Touch with Members by Blogging
Two sections of the J. Reuben Clark Law Society, the Appellate Section and the Women in the Law (WIL) Section, have created blogs within the past year to reach out to their members. Michelle Olsen, chair of the Appellate Section, views the section's blog as a good way to get news out that is accessible to everyone. Before starting the Appellate Section blog, Michelle had begun writing her own blog called "Appellate Daily" (view it at http://appellatedaily.blogspot.com) covering "news and commentary on the federal appellate courts." In December 2010, she applied her blogging skills to launching a website specifically geared toward JRCLS members with an interest in appellate work. She searched the JRCLS directory to compile a list of attorneys who had listed appellate law or appellate practice as an interest. Then she e-mailed those people to announce the blog and request updates on appellate work being done by the section's members.
Posts are short and easy to internalize, often providing a link to other articles featuring JRCLS members if the reader wants to know more. Michelle has covered topics ranging from the Supreme Court granting cert in cases brought by JRCLS attorneys to upcoming CLE presentations to awards and honors presented to JRCLS members for appellate work. Michelle hopes to increase the blog's coverage of state level appeals in addition to showcasing JRCLS news from federal appeals.
Having a section blog is an alternative to other media sources like Linked In and Facebook. One advantage of blogging is that JRCLS members do not have to sign up or sign in for anything. Blogs can be simple, and interested readers can easily be notified by e-mail when new articles have been posted. As Michelle says, "Keeping it simple, you can keep it going."
Like the Appellate Section, the WIL Section of JRCLS has also taken to blogging as a way to keep in touch with its members. The WIL blog launched at the end of October 2010 and features articles written by female attorneys in JRCLS about issues related to the practice of law as a woman. Representative articles include: "To Golf or Not to Golf" (an analysis of whether golfing skills really are a prerequisite to career success in the business world), "Balanced Hours Policy: A Solution to the Part-Time Dilemma" (an informational piece about the options some law firms are providing attorneys striving to balance family life with work and career), and "The Economy of God: A non-practicing attorney on the value of her law degree" (the story of one woman who has used her law degree in ways law students may not realize are possible). In addition to pieces written by female members of JRCLS, the blog highlights WIL events across the country and occasionally posts videos of panel discussions like "Women and Men Working Together in the Law." Interested members of the Society can subscribe to posts from the WIL blog by following a link on the blog's webpage.
Both the Appellate Section and the WIL Section blogs show that blogging can be an effective way to keep in touch with JRCLS members and give members an opportunity to contribute as well.
View the Appellate Section blog at http://jrclsappellate.blogspot.com/ and the WIL blog at http://jrclswomen.blogspot.com/.
By Megan Woodhouse
Posted: May 31, 2011