Wednesday, May 18, 2005

The Burning Question

As Gideon sums up here, there's been quite a bit of discussion going around the blawgosphere about whether to blog from and about work. I thought about this a lot myself before I started my blog. I think I understand the pros and cons and I've tried to balance them here. On one hand, I don't think my blog would be what I want it to be if I don't post some personal experiences. My feelings about the criminal justice system are shaped by a lot of things, and one of the major ones is obviously my own personal experiences as a public defender. I like to think that my personal stories inform whoever might be reading this blog about just who is spouting off her opinion. I also have read quite a few posts on other blawgs from defense attorneys and public defenders that helped me get through a bad hour, bad day, or bad week because I knew that other people across this country were doing what I was doing, and were facing the same struggles I was. As I type this, I realize that it's sort of like a quasi-support group, I guess. On the other hand, I don't want to ever come close to revealing any privileged or confidential information. I certainly don't want to destroy any good professional relationships I have. And, obviously, I don't want to get fired. But, in the end, for me, I decided that for my blog, it just wasn't worth it for me to blog if I didn't throw some of my own personal experiences in the mix.

I do have some general rules to keep myself in check. I don't use any client names--not even first names. I never reveal client conversations beyond a general, "Client says he didn't do it" type reference. I also don't use any names of co-workers, prosecutors, or judges. I never, ever, ever blog about or even mention my boss or the particulars of my office. And I remain somewhat anonymous. I say "somewhat," because I'm sure if someone really wanted to figure out who I am, they could. But, I'm not going to advertise it either.

I recognize that it's possible, I might get burned for some of this. But, for now, I'm just doing the best that I can, hoping that some people get something out of this place.

What do you think?


Anonymous Gideon said...

I think you've covered every reason to blog. I pretty much feel the same way. The PD blogs are, in a sense, a support community where we can relate, hear similar tales and know that we aren't the only ones.

Keep up your blogging - I've certainly enjoyed all of it.

5/18/2005 9:08 AM  
Blogger Skelly said...

Yes, keep up the good work. Like the song says, "people like you help people like me go on."

5/18/2005 1:15 PM  
Blogger 123txpublicdefender123 said...

Thanks, guys! And thanks for being a part of my support group.

5/18/2005 4:23 PM  
Anonymous Kevin O'Keefe said...

Nice way of expressing why you blog and the guidelines you follow. I'll post the guidelines as an example for other lawyers on blog.

Stay well & keep up the great work.

- Kevin

5/22/2005 9:49 PM  
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