‘Library Boy’ on French Law Bloggers

Library Boy, aka Michel-Adrien Sheppard, and Law Librarian at the Supreme Court of Canada, has posted his thoughts on the lack of French Canadian law bloggers.

Responding to an article (pg. 14) in the most recent edition of the National, Michel-Adrien suggests that the problem may have more to do with the fact that francophones have an easier time building profile with traditional media like TV & radio. Who needs a blog when the most popular forms of media are so accessible?

From the post:

“In Quebec, there is a tight little media world and any lawyer who attracts attention can easily and quickly get invited to all the major TV and radio studios, most of which are located within a 10-15 minute taxi ride of each other in Montreal (with perhaps a handful in Quebec City), and become known as an authority on an issue. They might even give you your own newspaper column or ask you to guest host a show segment (civil libertarian Julius Grey seems to be on Marie-France Bazzo’s morning show Indicatif Présent on Radio-Canada almost every other week). Who needs blawgs?

That might be very pre-Web2.0 but that would be my theory.”

Michel-Adrien’s points seem valid, but I hope this doesn’t stop potential francophone law bloggers from getting started. The value of blogging, from a marketing perspective, is the same regardless of language or media accessibility. And unlike a radio or TV interview, blog posts don’t give you a profile spike once and then go away. A quality professional blog can become a body of work that will continue to demonstrate your expertise over a career. Building one’s ‘online profile’ is fast becoming an essential marketing tool, and those without one are – simply put – invisible online.


  1. Many arguments could be proposed to explain this lack of french blawgs. Pierre Trudel, in the National Paper proposed an historic perspective with some reference to Duplessis; Michel-Adrien mentioned a more sociological approach. I will prefer a mathematical view: there’s less 7 millions francophone in Quebec: French from France are not interested by our law; ROC (Rest of Canada) is not really interested by Quebec law in french; laypeople are not interested by law; usual blawgs, as mine, are usually very specialized and not for all lawyers. So, french blawgers should manage some risk of loneliness. I wrote a paper on this great subject at http://www.gautrais.com (but in french). Thanks.

  2. I tend to support Pierre Trudel’s thesis. As a Quebec lawyer, even if I blog a lot, I do not blawgue. Here is what a litigator thinks in Quebec:
    1) How can I discuss (read: contradict) a judgment rendered by a judge in front of whom I will be pleading tomorrow?
    2) My code of ethics precludes me from discussing judgements;
    3) Even judges are shy to discuss their own judgments…

    That being said, I also think that we are such a small community, that, for the moment, there are no benefits (or profiling) to blawgue. Therefore, I will keep on blawging…

  3. Salut Dominic – il est où, ton blogue?! :-)

  4. I also tend to support Pierre Trudel’s and Dominic Jaar’s thesis as a law student.