Today marks the one-year anniversary of our first post on Blacklines & Billables!
It’s been an amazing, frustrating, exhilarating, and educational ride over that time. Thank you for being a part of it. And thank you for helping us build such a strong foundation to a great new community.
The Past Year
Here’s a quick rundown of what we’ve accomplished in the past year:
- We published 50 blog posts.
- With respect to our original content category, Associate Success & Development, we’ve launched eight content series, including:
- “Biglaw Basics” (our first-year crash course)
- “The Associate Angle” (our associate advice of general applicability)
- “View from the Top” (our partner perspective series)
- “View from the Client Side” (our client perspective series)
- “Exit Options” (our series on leaving Biglaw)
- “Quick Tips” (our bite-sized associate-advice series)
- Two of those eight series expanded our Associate Success content to speak to entirely new constituencies within the associate lifecycle:
- We launched Legal Tech & Innovation content and have attended three national/international conferences to explore the cutting edge of thinking in the legal tech and innovation space.
- We launched the Blacklines & Billables podcast to take a deeper dive into the content categories of our blog. (Our second episode went live early this morning, and we have a great slate of interviews lined up for the next couple of months.)
- We launched a meetup group called “Associate Intel: How to Survive and Succeed at a Law Firm” to continue conversations begun on the blog in an informal, in-person setting.
- We launched “The Issues List” forum to give community members a place to ask questions, share their own tips and tricks of the trade, and interact with others to crowdsource the best possible body of associate advice.
- We established a social media presence on three key platforms: Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
- We established a loyal newsletter following with our email list.
- Finally, we were able to provided 100% of our content to you, our community members, absolutely free.
Our Vision for the Future
Today, we not only wanted to look back and celebrate what we’ve achieved so far, we also want to look forward and spend some time thinking about what the future holds for our collective project. Among many others, here are four key goals we hope to achieve in the coming year.
Develop our Legal Tech & Innovation content
It’s a fascinating time to be a provider in the market for legal services—which we, and many others, believe is poised for significant change. But it’s not yet clear what that change will look like. Nor is it clear how technological and other advancements will—at a fundamental level—change the law-firm-service-provider model. Amid a media landscape of knee-jerk reactions and hyperbolic predictions, we think there is a significant need for thoughtful, well-informed commentary about, and engagement with, the intersection between potentially transformative technologies and other innovations and the real-world, well-established, everyday practice of law and provision of legal advice. B&B hopes to better meet that need in the coming year.
Build our guest-post pipeline
Over the last six months, one out of every three B&B posts was written by one of our wonderful guest posters. We’d like to take that ration even higher. The mission of Blacklines & Billables is to start important conversations around associate training and other critical aspects of associate life, such as a the state of legal technology, and to crowdsource the best possible information. That means creating a marketplace for a variety diverse ideas and adding as many different voices as possible to the conversation. Our guest posts to date have been incredible and among our most well received. We want to build on that growing pipeline.
Explore, and establish a significant footprint within, other media
Our long-form writing on the blog will continue to be the heart and soul of our project. But in the coming year, we’d like that creative core to germinate and animate a range of other media. We’ve begun that work with the Blacklines & Billables podcast and our social media feeds, but in the coming year we hope to:
- Focus on the podcast and grow a captive audience
- Explore video content to supplement our written and aural channels
- Develop our social media presence across existing, and new, social platforms
Get out into the real world
Finally, we’d like to build on the growing success of our online community to get out into the real world and begin connecting with flesh-and-blood audiences. In part, that means growing our in-person community by expanding the informal Associate Intel meetup. But we will also begin offering a suite of other, more formal resources—such as presentations, workshops, other trainings, and consulting services—through The Firm Formula and other channels to develop an real-world footprint on both the Associate Success and Legal Tech sides of the B&B project.
We would love for each and every one of you to get more involved with B&B. If you’re interested in taking a more active role in our community, here are some ways:
- Write a guest post! Contact us (form below) if you would be interested in writing a post for one of our blog series or if you know someone whose voice you think would make a great addition to the conversation.
- Add a tip or trick to The Issues List.
- Join the Associate Intel meetup.
- Subscribe to our newsletter (opt-in below) and our podcast feed in iTunes, Google Play, or Stitcher.
- Reach out (form below) if you’re interested in podcast or video production and would be interested in lending a hand with future episodes/videos.
- Share and discuss our posts on social media (or in the post comments or in The Issues List)
- Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
- Suggest future topics for the project to address or offer any other feedback you think would be valuable.
- Share Blacklines & Billables and The Firm Formula with others at your law firm (including the professional development staff).
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The Blacklines & Billables Podcast | Exploring law firm associate success and the cutting edge of legal technology and innovation
Amid a rapidly changing market for legal services, Blacklines & Billables takes a critical look at the cutting edge of legal technology and innovation, as well as law-firm associate success and development. An avid legal technologist and former Biglaw associate in New York and London, host Christian Lang explores the promise—and pitfalls—of an evolving legal and technological landscape with leading practitioners, legal tech founders, and other thought leaders, building upon the conversations begun on the Blacklines & Billables blog.