Another day another tweet up. More foot shuffling and mild embarrassment at meeting with people you may have talked to on a daily basis but have never actually met, compounded by my own personal horror of referring to real people by internet nick-names – ‘Ah, so you’re at flexible_law_goth_nymph69?’
Despite myself I actually enjoy these affairs and I am equally happy for them to be social or work-related, the best contain elements of both and the #lawblogs night, kindly hosted by 1 Crown Office Row certainly fell into that category. The panel were three well known blawgers (the merits of that term was debated) in the shape of David Allen Green, author of the (in)famous Jack of Kent blog and legal correspondent for the New Statesman; Carl Gardner, former government lawyer, writer and author of Head of Legal; and Adam Wagner, junior barrister, host and editor of the UK Human Rights Blog. Ably compered by Catrin Griffths, editor of The Lawyer.
For me the event was confirmation of a suspicion I have long held – that lawyers are, in the main, frustrated writers. While the panel were excellent, as was to be expected, the real value for me was in the mingling afterwards. The diversity in attendance was heartening from law students to the professional press to well respected lawyers, what was lacking was any form of snobbery or superiority, what united most was a deep interest in the law and the need to write about it. I have never considered myself a law blogger having always thought there were many far more qualified to comment yet what I saw was that that there is a place for almost every level – as one of the panelists commented, bloggers are not in competition with the main stream media, they provide a check and balance function. – For me this translates as there being a place for everyone if they want it, even the wildly insane commenters we all seem to attract.*
I see a real place for events such as these as a way of breaking down barriers, swapping ideas and information, especially in a profession under the spotlight for its perceived elitism. Sadly I had to rush off early but not before I had managed to offend the lads from Legal Week. Special mentions to the people who I did get to talk to: Ashley Connick, Emily Allbon and a man who knows how to find a really flattering profile picture: Tim Bratton.
I believe the next event is to be held 12th May 2011 – details, I assume will be on http://www.ukhumanrightsblog.com/
* This sounds terribly close to Tony Blair’s big conversation, doesn’t it?