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Rising from the Ashes: The Return of Keep Calm Talk Law

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About The Author

Keir Baker (Consulting Editor)

Keir is a Trainee Solicitor currently sitting in the Finance department at a major US law firm. A law graduate from Selwyn College, Cambridge University, his main areas of interest are Employment, Discrimination and Competition law. Outside the law, Keir is an accomplished goalkeeper in both football and hockey, as well as a keen actor and pianist. He is a long-suffering supporter of Middlesbrough FC.

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Keep Calm Talk Law has recently celebrated its third birthday. Throughout its time in operation, it has published 464 articles and, at its peak, was drawing in just under 100,000 readers. As founder and executive editor Chris Bridges described in his celebration of Keep Calm Talk Law’s second birthday:

[W]e have made in-depth legal comment accessible to the masses, encouraged young and non-lawyers to engage with the debate (in writing, in reading and in commenting) and… have shown that young lawyers can be thought leaders, and can change the way the general public perceives the law.

Over the last few months, however, it is undeniable that Keep Calm Talk Law has fallen upon hard times. In many ways, this might have been viewed as inevitable: as a number of the key figures that were instrumental in the journal’s success have become subsumed by the world of work, the rate of Keep Calm Talk Law’s output has fallen. Indeed, the very fact that they were involved with Keep Calm Talk Law has been attributed by many of our current and former editors and writers as one of the key factors that allowed them to find success in the legal sphere.

But as one generation of Keep Calm Talk Law writers and editors departs for bigger and better things, it is imperative in this day and age that the journal remains operative: Brexit, joint enterprise, prison reform and even the changing shape of the US Supreme Court are all illustrative of the need for accessible, informed and engaging discussions about the law.

Indeed, having recognised that Keep Calm Talk Law is a major medium for such legal debate – particularly among the up-and-coming generation of lawyers making their way through university – Chris Bridges has elected to pass the running of the journal into different hands with the hope that the Keep Calm Talk Law vehicle can stay on the road.

The Journal, and every individual who has worked on it, owes Chris Bridges unlimited thanks. The success that Keep Calm Talk Law enjoyed at its peak was testament to his ambition, drive, entrepreneurship and tenacity as well as his knowledge of the law; it is undoubted that these characteristics will carry him from strength to strength in the world of commercial law at one of the UK’s biggest law firms and he is certainly a solicitor to admire and to watch.

As for the Journal, it begins a new phase of its existence under new stewardship, as I, Keir Baker, climb the ranks to the role of Editor-in-Chief after having spent nearly two years as a Regular Writers with 16 articles under my belt. I hope that I can ensure that Keep Calm Talk Law will maintain all of that which made it such a success in the years prior to now, while helping update the journal to ensure it continues to encourage new writers to take up their metaphorical pens and attract new readers.

Indeed, a number of minor changes are planned: the journal will hope to continue to maintain its long-standing attraction to practitioners by publishing in-depth and well-researched articles on contemporary legal issues while also hoping to expand out into becoming a vital tool for undergraduates trying to navigate their way through the jungle that can be the law. Slightly reduced length will make articles more digestible, and there are plans for a more interactive and engaging webpage in due course.

That said, it is guaranteed that Keep Calm Talk Law will stay true to the values of access, opportunity, support and innovation that were fundamental to its success. These values are the lifeblood of the journal; without them, Keep Calm Talk Law could descend into being just another echo chamber hidden away within the internet behemoth.

As the journal embarks on its new journey, we leave behind some old faces and it is impossible not to pay tribute to the work of Amy Ling, Jessica Johnson and Rachel Dean – to name but a few – and we wish them every success in the future. But – as envisioned by Phillip Larkin in The Trees – there will always be exciting new minds eager to write, and the journal will be looking to harness the very best young legal minds out there.

It is aimed that Keep Calm Talk Law will “begin afresh, afresh, afresh” at the turn of the new year and we hope that you, our readers, will join us on the journal’s next chapter.

For the latest articles straight to your inbox, you can subscribe for free. Alternatively, follow @KeepCalmTalkLaw on Twitter or Like us on Facebook.

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