We all know that reading widely is an essential characteristic, not just for lawyers but really for everyone who can read.
But it’s easy to become myopic – we read only law all the time.
That’s foolhardy – it assumes that lawyers are so special that we knew everything there was to know about those areas that could benefit us. The assumption is wrong, and the arrogance is a little disturbing (although I like to think it’s inadvertent rather than deliberate).
The fact is that business advances happen every day. People are constantly devising tools, strategies and encouragement to help us understand business better, be more productive, push the boundaries of marketing and networking, and work with others effectively.
With rare exception, most of those at the forefront of these areas are not lawyers. So if you’re all law all the time, then you’re missing out on a big piece of the puzzle.
Starting now, I urge you to find some non-law books, blogs and material to start expanding your mind, changing the way you think, and driving you towards a state of constant improvement.
I’m getting you started with 15 fantastic blogs that don’t relate to law, but which I think every lawyer should be reading.
You’ll notice some commonalities here – many of these people have written books (links below to books are affiliate links). Many are public speakers. You have probably heard of some, but not necessarily all.
Got any more? Point us to their blogs in the comments, so that this list can continue to grow into the best of the best non-law blogs for lawyers.
Seth Godin is not everyone’s cup of tea, and lots of conservative lawyers will disagree with much of what he says.
And that in itself is reason enough to read his blog. Seth is the guy who says “it IS broken and you MUST fix it”.
If that wasn’t enough, then you should know that Seth’s blog is one of the most popular in the world, getting more than 1,000,000 readers each month.
Seth is a forward thinker, and an evangelist for disrupting the way things ARE done in favour of the way things SHOULD be done.
In addition to his blog Seth is the author of some fantastic books, including Linchpin, which every young lawyer who cares about making a difference should read.
Brian Solis describes himself as a futurist.
Which is a cool term.
Fundamentally Brian speaks and writes about social media and marketing concepts, but I’m putting him in the Thinkers category because he genuinely attempts to see what’s coming, not just regurgitate what there already is.
To be fair, this isn’t really a blog, but Dan Pink is such a fantastic resource that you should be reading everything he produces anyway.
Lots of books are available (including To Sell is Human, the Surprising Truth about Moving Others) at the site, but there are also a bunch of free resources that are available for your consumption.
Dan is prepared to break new ground, confound expectation, and generally tell it as he sees it.
Content Marketing and Writing
Lawyers think we’re pretty awesome are writing.
Unfortunately we’re almost universally wrong. In fact, all you need to do is go to 20 random law firm websites, read their latest article, and you’ll find yourself ready for a nice snooze.
CopyBlogger is where you should go to learn how to do it properly. Write better headlines, great copy, and use your words to engage people and build a real audience.
Don’t get all arrogant and start thinking that “blogs” are too uncool for lawyers and you need something more sophisticated – you’re wrong (and a bit of a snob).
Guess what – CopyBlogger gets around 4,000,000 visitors a month. Do you?
Author of Epic Content Marketing, Joe Pulizzi knows what he’s on about.
He’s a LinkedIn Influencer, writer, and guru of all things relating to content marketing.
If you’re a lawyer looking to build your network and profile using content marketing (and you should be) then you need to look to those who have done it. Joe is one of them.
You-tility is an essential tome for any lawyer looking to build their knowledge of how digital marketing works (and how it doesn’t).
If you are looking to increase your online presence, your referrals and your sales through anything digital – then Jay Baer is an excellent starting point.
Online Marketing, Social Media and Strategy
John Jantsch is a marketing consultant, author and speaker. As well as writing a book of the same name (and a number of others), John also curates a podcast of fantastic interviews where he is progressively putting together a wonderful resource of audio that will keep you profitable occupied for hours.
Duct Tape Marketing is a fantastic resource for anyone looking to advance in their knowledge of marketing strategies and mentality.
Human Social is the brain child of Mitch Jackson, a trial lawyer from California (so in that sense this is by a lawyer, but not really about the law – so it meets my criteria for putting it in).
In his blog at Human Social, Mitch shares his strategies, information and tips for developing an authentic connection with people through a variety of means.
If you’re wondering how to connect with people in modern society – Mitch has got you covered.
If you want marketing, social media and other ways of getting your message across.
Sure, HubSpot sells stuff too, but that’s because they know what they’re talking about in terms of content creation, marketing and sales.
If you want to develop a comprehensive social media strategy and have no Earthly idea where to start, then Social Media Examiner from Michael Stelzner is a great place to start.
Resources, information, blogs and an interesting podcast are all there on an abundance of social media focused topics like Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Twitter, Vimeo and all the others that I’m not going to bother writing down.
Leadership and Management
Michael Hyatt publishes constantly on issues of leadership, productivity, social media and a plethora of other skills that young lawyers and small business owners should be consuming regularly.
If he’s good enough for Forbes to put in their “2014 best of” list, then he’s good enough for you to to check out.
Michael is also the author of Platform, for anyone wanting to get a grip on the many ways to start getting your voice heard in a “noisy world”.
Michael Hyatt also has a great podcast called This is Your Life. Not every episode will be relevant to all lawyers, but enough will be that it should be on your subscribe list.
Scott Eblin blogs about leadership development and strategy. He provides valuable insight and information to help you clarify the results you want, develop strategies to attain them, and work to achieve them.
Scott is the author of a number of books including Overworked and Overwhelmed, a topic that will be close to many lawyers’ hearts.
Dan Rockwell is “freakishly into leadership” (in his own words).
He writes about improving your productivity, performance and leadership skills and has developed an enviable list of people who care about what he says – you should probably be one of them if you want to keep up.
He genuinely wants to help people improve their own lives, and the lives of those around them. Is that leadership? Find out at his blog.
Leo Barbauta is about simplicity. His original desire was to share a few ways in which he changed some damaging habits, but ultimately Zen Habits has become far more (but less).
Zen Habits is about stopping so that you can proceed. Leo encourages readers to develop habits that allow them to be focused, alert and ultimately more productive through eliminating clutter in our lives.
As lawyers we have constant clutter – so a deliberate cleansing can be just what the doctor ordered sometimes.
Although it started as a single writer blog, Dumb Little Man is now the collective thoughts of a number of talented writers with a particular focus on productivity and “life hacks” to help you do things a little faster, easier, or better.
From felony grand theft auto to expulsion from college, Steve managed to hit rock bottom. His blog is a collection of the wisdom he gained on his journey back to having a successful personal life, the strategies and tips he learned then and is still learning now in terms of success and productivity.
As well as his blog Steve has put together his thoughts in Personal Development for Smart People.
That’s All Folks
With a billion blogs out there to read, hopefully this hand picked list is a good starting point for you.
Got another blog you read and find helpful, that isn’t directly about the law? Share it in the comments so we can all check it out.