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Scraping a second


I managed to miss an anniversary, a bit like my own birthdays these days. Nearly Legal was two years old on the first of June. Two years! That is positively middle aged in internet years, fittingly making the blog roughly as old as I am.

It has been quite a trip. I can safely say that I didn’t plan what Nearly Legal has turned into at all, nor did I expect what was always going to be a very niche blog to get the range of readers and calibre of commentors that it has. For all who comment and email, my thanks. It is, quite honestly, what keeps the blog going.

It isn’t just this blog that has changed, the surrounding world of UK law blogs is also very different. When I started, all the UK blawgs could comfortably fit on my blogroll link list, without it looking particularly lengthy. That is thankfully no longer so. There have been departures, some lamented, but also a lot of newcomers and, much to my delight, increasing numbers of very good specialist blogs have appeared.

There has also been an increasing amount of fun to be had with page scrapers, RSS and aggregators over the years, which has hopefully made Nearly Legal more of a resource than just a blog.

When I started Nearly Legal, I was a paralegal in search of a traineeship. Thankfully that has changed too. I’ll be qualified in a short while, of which more in a few days.

Like all anniversaries, though, this has brought on a minor bout of navel gazing. Whether Nearly Legal sees another anniversary, or even six months, depends on what will be dramatically changing circumstances, none of which I can safely predict. Where I want to take it, assuming it does keep going, is also not certain at the moment. It has been a lot of fun, but also a lot of effort, over and above my full time work. In the meantime, though, normal service will be maintained as far as possible…

Giles Peaker is a solicitor and partner in the Housing and Public Law team at Anthony Gold Solicitors in South London. You can find him on Linkedin and on Twitter. Known as NL round these parts.


  1. Alex

    Well done Nearly Legal. It’s an excellent blog. Maybe you should rename it Very Legal when you qualify?

  2. Usefully Employed

    Happy Birthday! It’s an interesting dilemma – you create something at a particular stage of your life, and in a particular frame of mind, but you move onwards and real life takes over.

    Do please carry on with the blog for at least another two years, if just to keep yourself sharp and up to date – I know I’ve neglected my blog for the last couple of weeks and I’m a worse person for it. And if you want some more motivation… there’s always adsense…

  3. Housinganger

    happy birthday Nearly blog :)

  4. tim scott

    Sorry mate, I didn’t realise you were just a trainee. The site is so authorative I thought you must be a big cheese – Robert Latham or the like. Apologies if any earlier comments were ill-judged as a result.
    Aim high – you can do better than a minion at Bindmans.

  5. Nearly Legal

    Thanks all, Alex and Housinganger.

    @usefully employed. I was really pleased to see your blog spring back into life. I know what you mean about keeping an edge. No ads though. I’m relaxed about other’s choices, but I decided to keep NL ad free from the beginning and I’ll keep to that (despite offers of actual money). But time is a bugger, particularly having somehow set myself up to get instant reports out and getting stuck with it. And what the next few months bring is anyone’s guess…

    @tim scott. I’m flattered, seriously. I’ve instructed and sat behind Robert Latham on a couple of JR matters, but I don’t think I’ve picked up his mannerisms, or hopefully not. Mind you, given that my trainee status has been on the ‘about’ page since April 2007, I suppose this is another example of inadequate enquiries by a homeless officer ;-)
    Don’t worry about any earlier comments. I think it is fair to say I’m not your run of the mill trainee, and my skin is distinctly leathery and toughened.

  6. tim scott

    Homeless officer? Whatever gave you that idea?! More chance of me working for Now medical. I note you didn’t rise to my Bindmans carrot so obviously you didn’t want to queer your patch there, then.

  7. Nearly Legal

    Tim, I quote: “I do reviews for a big London local authority” [from context s.202 reviews].

    As for patch queering, hey I will be looking for a job very shortly, but you could put Bindmans into the search box above right and see my public comments ;-)

  8. lawminx

    Hippo Birdie NL and Blog!! *MWAAAAH*!!! Are you going to have a great big CAKE?!? and Hats?! and Pineapple and Cheese and Onion on sticks stuck on to a Grapefruit to make it look like a hedgehog?!?!

  9. lawminx

    (PS: Dont you DARE be going and leaving the Ether with out the express permission of Minx!!! EEEEE! What would I do if you are not about?!?!)

  10. Nearly Legal

    Minx – As the actual date slipped past without noticing, the blog and I will have to make do with a quiet drink and maybe dinner somewhere, sans hats. The cheese and pineapple hedgehog grapefruit thing will have to wait till 2009, unless we go to a 70s revival restaurant.

    As for departing – I’m only going if I am actively departed. If you see the blog with a hood on its head being bundled into an unmarked Learjet, then you know what has happened.


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