Whenever I am asked about what I get out of this blog, I never fail to mention something along the lines of “information from our readers.” Both co-blogger Steve Dickinson and I are always talking about how we are the rare lawyers who love our jobs and we both list “learning something new every day” as one of the reasons for that.

When I had been practicing law for around three years, I was offered a prestigious in-house position with THE company in my hometown. I almost took the job, but something someone said from the company made me decide against it. One of the in-house lawyers talked about how much he liked feeling that he had “mastered the company and mastered his work.” I interpreted him to say that his work had become routine and easy and I did not like that comment then and I like it even less now.

My work is not routine and I doubt that it ever will be. Chinese laws are forever changing as is China’s enforcement of them. This means that my firm is constantly having to adjust in terms of the advice we give our clients. On top of that, every client’s situation is going to be at least a little bit different than the others. In other words, we as lawyers cannot get cocky, cannot get tranquil, and cannot remain static and expect to remain at the top of our games. We need to keep on keeping our ears open, keep on learning, and keep on developing our craft. That is what I love about my work and that is what I love about having this blog.

This blog is a great source for our own learning and the comments left by our readers are at the heart of that. We first posed the question, “What do you think?” back in early 2006 and we have posed it thousands of times since then. We do it because we sincerely want your comments.

When we were just thinking of doing a blog, we drafted a mission statement to help guide us. That statement has barely changed and the following paragraphs imploring comments have not changed at all

It has become a blog cliché to implore readers for their input, but it is so important we must join the crowd on this. We do not purport to know everything about Chinese law. That is impossible. Our strengths are forming companies in China, drafting international contracts with Chinese companies (in English and in Chinese), intellectual property protection and international litigation and arbitration. We welcome your comments, suggestions and ideas on any area of law relating to conducting business in China. China is anything but monolithic and we will be relying in large part on you, our readers, to round out this site with your own stories.

In plain language, we ask that you write us early and often. We will review your comments before we post them, but that does NOT mean you should not criticize us or disagree with us. Our review will be to filter out comments that are without substance and/or personally abusive. We want to encourage a high level of discussion, but we will not ban or delete your comments just because you come after us.

Interestingly but unfortunately, though our readership seems to grow pretty much every month (we are now allegedly the third most read English language law blog and the fifth most influential), the numbers of comments has declined a bit, due in large part (I believe) to the fact that a much greater percentage of our readers view us from their blog readers without ever actually alighting on our site.  Both we and our readers benefit from your comments so please keep ’em coming.

What do you think?