I got a notice recently that in a few weeks will be the 35th anniversary of the day I was sworn into the Bar as a lawyer. Also, I decided to look back at the history of this little blog, and discovered that soon after my 35th Bar anniversary we will pass the 10th anniversary of this “weblog” (which is how these little publications were originally known). Like all milestone anniversaries, these two caused a bit of reflection, something kind of rare for a busy practicing lawyer.
Life in general is quite different than the day in 1982 when I became an attorney at law. I had more hair, it was a different color, had no children, and was plagued by fewer worries. Now, me, my graying hair and always opinionated kids live in the data-driven world where devices are always at our reach, information can be summoned at a moment’s notice from a variety of fora, and individual privacy is a thing of the past. I’m not complaining, progress is good. However, these many changes have greatly changed law and lawyering. Practicing law is now much more fast-paced, but likewise the data revolution has made me far more efficient.
While we have more equipment and information than what was available back in 1982, many things are unchanged. For starters, the kind of law me and my law partner Carl practice is people oriented. People are the same, they bring their worries and problems to a lawyer, hoping for answers and solutions. A good lawyer needs to listen, understand, and try to help clients, skills that never go in or out of fashion.
I was also struck with the changes in the subjects I have blogged about over the past decade. Anyone foolish enough to go back and look at what I wrote back then will see I regularly railed against the idiotic war-on-drugs sentences. Those changed, a little bit, but it now appears we are heading back to those bad old days in the near future. Also, I noticed that over the years my writing focused more and more on technical, data and device-related legal issues. Like many of us, I am fascinated at how we apply concepts from the 18th century enshrined in our Constitution (like the Fourth Amendment’s promise of no search or seizure except if based on “probable cause”) with modern issues (such as the FBI wanting help from the Apple corporation in unlocking an encrypted phone belonging to a terrorist killer).
To the odd reader out there in cyberspace, thanks, and stay tuned. The next decades should be even more interesting.