ABA Journal has released it’s Blawg 100 — the best legal blogs as selected by the Journal‘s editors. Congratulations to all the nominees! In introducing its list, the Journal details the qualities it believes distinguish exceptional blogs from drivel.
“Reports that blogging is on its way out are greatly exaggerated. That’s especially true for blogs written with personality, passion and enthusiasm. New niche blogs pop up all the time—and those that are smartly written, teach us something and introduce us to new perspectives will catch and keep our attention.”
ABA Journal has narrowed the field to 100; now, readers vote to determine the winning blawgs in each of twelve categories. We’ve selected our favorites below. Vote for your own favorites here.
The Sociable Lawyer’s charter covers practicing law in the Internet age, not legal issues per se. Although Court Watch, Torts, In Labor, IP Law, and Criminal blawg award categories might interest attorneys in those fields, we’re going to stick to our beat and withhold judgment on the nominees. Everybody wins!
Law Biz – This category overlaps neatly with The Sociable Lawyer’s coverage area, so we’re pretty familiar with all of the nominees. And they’re all excellent. Our favorites in approximate priority order: Legal Practice Pro, Real Lawyers Have Blogs, 3 Geeks and a Law Blog, My Shingle, Law21, Client Revolution, What About Clients, and Lawyerist.
News – Our vote goes to Above the Law, especially now that it includes marketing, small-firm practice and technology in its coverage. Above the Law also win the irascible reader-community award (seriously, those people are scary.)
Law Prof Plus – Which law professor blog makes the grade? We defer to the larger Law Professor Blogs Network. With a mission to assist law professors in their scholarship and teaching, this network consistently delivers top-notch content. Our favorite is the Legal Skills Prof Blog.
IMHO (“in my humble opinion”) – The Nutmeg Lawyer was “developed to share tips on law firm marketing, legal practice, office management and anything else that might pique your interest about the trials and tribulations of law practice.” Blawgger Adrian Baron is a machine, publishing useful and entertaining posts almost every day. Hats off.
If you’re looking for some perspective on legal marketing from a vitriolic blogger who sees social media as snake oil, read My Law License. From blog author Brian Tannebaum: “I think social media, blogs, Facebook, and all that other crap (sorry for calling it crap, marketers) are great tools if used properly and ethically.” He won’t tell you how to use these tools, but he’ll tell you when you’re full of shit.
Niche – This is another category that mostly deals with issues of law, which we don’t. That said, The Jury Room gets our vote. The Jury Room explores the psychology of persuasion as it applies to juries, and discusses strategies and implications for lawyers. (One of The Jury Room’s primary sources is The British Psychological Society’s Research Digest Blog. If you’re at all interested in useful and accessible psychology research, this is the blog for you.)
For Fun – The Internet is hilarious. Lawyers typically aren’t. There’s a lot of gallows humor in this category, and some crummy inside jokes. If you really want a laugh, check out Funny or Die.
Legal Tech – This is a bit of a split-personality category: some entries cover technology law and e-discovery; others cover practicing law in the Internet age. We’re aligned with the latter. Gold stars go to Strategic Legal Technology and Future Lawyer, both of which discuss new technologies and practice strategies for e-lawyers.
The ABA selects its nominees from the 3,000 or so blogs in its directory. If you’re not in it, you’re not in the running. Click here to apply for inclusion.
You can follow 85 of the ABA’s Blawg 100 authors on Twitter by following @ABAJournal’s Blawg100 list.