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Q and A with New Blogs Editor Peter Clarke

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By Christopher Coble, Esq. on June 09, 2015 12:55 PM

This past week, the FindLaw team welcomed a new editor for Consumer and Legal Professional Blogs, Peter Clarke. Peter was previously the Content Manager at LegalMatch.com where he headed a team of 13 writers.

So what does he do when he's not wrangling writers? A little bit of running, riding, and writing himself. Let's get to know FindLaw's latest addition.

What first attracted you to FindLaw?

I've used the resources at FindLaw for years-both as a casual reader and a professional in the legal field. I've always been impressed with the high quality of FindLaw's content. Also, the services FindLaw offers to attorneys are very valuable and I'm excited at the chance to promote those services.

Where did you go to law school, and when did you know you wanted to be a lawyer?

I went to law school at the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento. Graduated 2010.

I've never had a truly strong desire to practice law, but I loved law school. The study of law is incredibly rewarding because it combines so many different elements: human drama, culture, history, philosophy, psychology ...

What's your favorite aspect of writing about the law?

I love making sense out of current events. So many things that happen in society or in government seem arbitrary and idiotic. Writing from a legal perspective helps to get to the bottom of people's motivations. Then, you can get into whether a person's actions/decisions were justified or not.

It's amazing the variety of legal issues people get themselves into. In that respect, there's always quite a bit of entertainment value in writing about the law.

Do you have any big plans for Blogs coming up?

I'd like to contribute more content that 1) makes lawyers love their work and see the value in what they do for society, and 2) I'm passionate about content that can help average people better understand the law.

You have a creative writing/editing background as well -- what do you enjoy about that, and how does that interact with your legal writing and editing?

I've written and published a bunch of short stories (nothing very impressive yet). I've also worked at a literary agency and I currently volunteer as an assistant editor for a literary journal.

Nothing beats creative writing. It's my favorite form of art. When you try to paint, you really only have a small spectrum of colors to work with. When you write, each word or phrase represents an idea, and ideas are bigger than any canvas will ever be.

Anything can happen at any time when you write. If you get bored with your writing, you can just introduce a dragon or space ship. Why not? It's like playing god: you make up all the rules.

This is applicable to legal writing and editing as well: if you feel constrained with your subject matter, just remember than you can say anything. If you're always open to taking a new angle on a topic, you'll n ever get stuck and you'll never be bored with any subject.

What's your favorite thing to do when you're not in the Sunnyvale office?

I love riding my bike, running, and playing the guitar and piano. I live up by San Francisco so I also spend a lot of time bumming around the city. I also love drinking good coffee, which pairs well with all forms of writing.

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Before he moves behind the scenes as an editor, Peter will be writing a few posts himself over the next couple of weeks, so be sure to check back with the Legal Professional blogs to see some of his work. We are delighted to have him here.

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