Blawg 100 Hall of Fame
Since 2012, the ABA Journal has maintained the Blawg 100 Hall of Fame to note consistently outstanding law blogs. The list of best blogs has grown to 55, with five new additions for 2017. Descriptions which follow were written in the year the blog joined the Hall of Fame.
Abnormal Use (2014)
Warning labels on products generally result from someone, somewhere trying something boneheaded, whether it be the consumer or the company itself. At Abnormal Use, breathtaking examples of the tort cases that result from such failures of judgment are cataloged and analyzed.
Above the Law (2012)
In a Supreme Ambitions post this fall, David Lat summed up the blog he founded in this way: “Above the Law … covers the legal profession at large, in a sweeping, high/low mix—from the heights of the U.S. Supreme Court to the depths of disgraced and depraved attorneys.” That pretty much nails it. We’ll also note that ATL has added directories of law schools, law firms and recruiters this year, as well as a few new columnists.
Adam Smith, Esq. (2014)
Law firm consultant Bruce MacEwen’s “synthesis of economics and the law is especially interesting in the work I do and because both topics, separately and combined, make for great reading post-2008. Moreover, MacEwen is a careful writer, and his articles reflect that.” —Mark Reber, senior marketing manager at Bullivant Houser Bailey in Portland, Oregon
Adams on Contract Drafting (2015)
Clear writing in a contract can avert disaster, and Ken Adams’ blog exists to keep legal writers from steering into icebergs. Many posts focus on a single, common turn of phrase—such as “in furtherance of the foregoing”—in contracts and why the phrase should never be used. Adams also pays close attention to other writing experts in the legal blogosphere and notes where he disagrees with their assessments.
Arbitration Nation (2017)
Stinson Leonard Street lawyer Liz Kramer’s blog marked its sixth “blogiversary” during what she called the Summer of Arbitration because of the avalanche of arbitration cases and regulation. But Kramer goes beyond recounting rulings to look for arbitration trends and lessons for her “warm community of fellow arbitration geeks.”
The bloggers of Attorney@Work truly fulfill the promise of their slogan: “One really good idea every day for enterprising lawyers.” Law practice management may not be for the faint of heart, but the tips and tricks offered by this blog can make it easier.
Josh Blackman’s Blog (2015)
This South Texas College of Law professor has captured our attention with his U.S. Supreme Court-predicting algorithm, his Harlan Institute focused on education and his FantasySCOTUS league; and he has kept it with his more than 9,000 posts on the Supreme Court and constitutional law.
The Careerist (2013)
American Lawyer reporter Vivia Chen writes graceful prose without dancing around the issues near and dear to her readers, who want to succeed in law on their own terms. Some choice questions from her posts this year: Should men be gagged, tied up and forced to take paternity leave? Do you ever feel like wringing the necks of underlings who seem incapable of following your directives? Keep telling us how you really feel, Vivia, and we’ll keep reading.
China Law Blog (2013)
This is a highly specific niche blog that nonetheless deserves its spot in the top 100 because of how utterly indispensable it is for its demographic. If you practice law in or around China or if you do any business with Chinese companies, you probably already have this bookmarked. Heck, if you’re even visiting China, give it a read because the bloggers provide excellent practical advice on not getting kidnapped. (We admit being fascinated by the anti-kidnapping advice.)
Why are we featuring an employment law blog for Connecticut and not a state with a higher population? Because Hartford-based blogger (and ‘09 Legal Rebel) Daniel Schwartz consistently impresses us with concise and incisive analysis of the latest cases and issues to arise in employment law, although occasionally venturing into more lighthearted territory. (“Ten of the Best Workplace Songs for Labor Day,” for example.)
Defending People (2014)
Houston criminal defense attorney Mark Bennett has been at the legal blogging game for more than 10 years. In his posts, he sides against creating new laws and policies that might protect some but chip away at the First Amendment for all; calls out questionable ethical moves by fellow lawyers and judges in Texas; and shares random tidbits about little things he does to boost his advocacy—like taking improv classes and filing pleadings on quality paper stock.
How technology and social media affect modern employers and employment law has been a particular focus of Molly DiBianca, although she ably covers other topics as well. The blog is full of thoughtful and well-reasoned advice to employers and their attorneys; while the laws cited may be specific to Delaware, the broader principles are applicable across the country.
Dewey B Strategic (2016)
Since 2011, Jean P. O’Grady has been a voice for the rarely sung but invaluable information professionals in the industry. Emerging technologies have changed the landscape for law librarians; O’Grady’s blog provides guidance on the newest tools available to the profession and on opportunities for librarians to be a driving force for innovation.
Divorce Discourse (2016)
Lee Rosen’s blog may have the word divorce in its name, but its usefulness extends beyond family law practitioners. Any attorney who runs a law practice can benefit from the practical, concrete advice Rosen gives readers for marketing and managing a firm.
Election Law Blog (2015)
Brief and exceedingly timely posts by law professor Rick Hasen of the University of California at Irvine provide exhaustive coverage of the election law issues of the day. This is a good one to bookmark as an election year approaches.
The Employer Handbook (2017)
Eric Meyer’s blog “is a must-read every day for employment lawyers,” says Kevin Wicka of the Tarantino Law Firm in Buffalo, New York. Meyer provides “witty analysis of current legal developments,” says Jen Cornell of Nilan Johnson Lewis in Minneapolis. “I can often turn it into use right away for my clients.” His blog’s loyal readers say Meyer has fun with his subject matter. His posts recognize “the humor in dealing with human beings,” says Julie Young of JMY Law in Worthington, Ohio.
FMLA Insights (2016)
“As employment counsel, I review all of the [Americans with Disabilities Act] reasonable accommodations as well as [Family Medical Leave Act] issues. For that reason, this blog is a critical resource to me and my staff. I tell all of our EEO and HR employees to sign up for the newsletter and to use this blog for information concerning FMLA and ADA issues.” —John Kim, NYC Health and Hospitals