Hard for me to believe it, but Saturday was the 20th anniversary of this blog, which I founded on Nov. 19, 2002, with this introductory post.
I actually started writing about this stuff even earlier, in 1995, when my fascination with the potential of the internet for lawyers prompted me to launch a syndicated column, Lawyers.online, starting with this inaugural installment, The Internet: A Revolution in Law Practice. That led to publication for many years of the first newsletter for lawyers about the internet, Legal.online, and then to several books about the web for lawyers, and ultimately to this blog, which seemed the only viable way to keep up with the rapid changes in the internet and legal tech.
As I mark two decades of writing this blog (and close in on three decades of writing about tech), I feel immensely fortunate to have had a ringside seat to the ever-accelerating development and adoption of technology within the legal profession and to the innovations in legal services that tech has helped propel.
For encouraging and enabling and supporting me in having that ringside seat, I am forever grateful to so many. Allow me to name some of those who have been most important:
- You. Without readers, this blog is nothing. I have never been obsessed with traffic numbers, but I do care about reaching an audience for whom I can make some sort of difference. The most gratifying reward of writing this blog is the feedback I have received over the years from readers who have told me that I have made a difference for them and that they rely on this blog to keep them informed. I have had companies tell me this blog accelerated their success and others blame me for putting them out of business. I have readers from across all facets of the legal profession, from outside the profession, and from throughout the globe. You are the fuel that keeps this going.
- Justia. Twelve years ago, I nearly shut down this blog until I was offered a new home by the founders of Justia (and original founders of FindLaw), Stacy Stern and Tim Stanley. Justia has been this blog’s home for 10 of its 20 years, and, as if that was not enough, Stacy, Tim, and the Justia team — most importantly Vasu Kappettu, COO and CTO — have this year been our partners and supporters in developing and launching the LawNext Legal Technology Directory. Words are insufficient to express my gratitude to them for all they have done.
- LexBlog. For three years, from 2018 to 2021, I moved my blog to LexBlog, coinciding with a period in which I worked with the company as publisher and editor-in-chief, and LexBlog continues to host my Legaltech Monitor site. Before I ever worked with LexBlog and continuing since, everyone there has been immensely supportive of my work, for which I am thankful. But I owe a particular debt of gratitude to LexBlog’s founder and CEO Kevin O’Keefe. Not only has he been professionally supportive of me and this blog, but he has also been a true friend for so many years. Many legal professionals have told me that Kevin was the inspiration for them to start blogging and the motivation to keep at it.
- Above the Law. In 2016, I was thrilled to be invited to become a columnist for Above the Law. In the years since, ATL and my blog have enjoyed what I hope has been a symbiotic relationship, but which no doubt has benefitted me far more than them. Thanks to former editor David Lat for recruiting me into the fold; John Lerner, CEO of ATL’s parent company Breaking Media, for his continuing support; and to all the ATL editors I’ve had the good fortune to work with (with a special shout out to Joe Patrice for being a regular on our weekly Legaltech Week podcast).
- Ben Ambrogi. A relatively recent — and enormously rewarding — benefit of this blog that I could never have anticipated 20 years ago has been the opportunity to work with my son. Initially, he helped me launch my LawNext podcast in 2018 when I spun off from the Legal Talk Network, then he began helping me better monetize this blog, and ultimately that collaboration led us earlier this year to cofound the LawNext Legal Technology Directory.
- Sponsors. I cannot thank enough the companies whose advertising and sponsorships have supported this blog and my LawNext podcast over the years. They are too numerous to mention here, but let me give a special thanks to two loyal and long-time sponsors. The first is Paradigm, the company that is home to the practice management platforms PracticePanther, Bill4Time, MerusCase and LollyLaw; the e-payments platform Headnote; and the legal accounting software TrustBooks. Paradigm has been a steady partner in supporting my blog and my podcast for more than two years, and is now also a sponsor of the LawNext directory. The other is the practice management company MyCase, which was the original sponsor of my podcast, helping us get it off the ground, and which has remained a supporter of our work in multiple ways.
This is probably the point where I am supposed to announce that I am hanging up my cleats. But I am not ready to do that. The truth is, the reason I keep doing this is that I have fun at it, and I plan to keep having that fun — and my ringside seat — for a few more years to come.