The voting period has ended.
Thank you to all who participated. The final results are listed below.
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.
The A-team at TalkLeft: The Politics of Crime—Jeralyn Merritt of Denver, T. Christopher Kelly of Madison, Wis., and Armando Llorens of San Juan, Puerto Rico—take a shamelessly liberal view of crime and justice news and issues.
The layout, lineup of writers and libertarian leanings have stayed the same, as well as the blog’s focus on constitutional law issues in the news (although there is a little more about legal education in the past year). Which is to say, it’s still a great blog, and there’s no other one with contributors so engaged with each other that they’ll spontaneously post dueling updates on a topic within the same day—or maybe within the same hour.
The financial section of Canada’s National Post points readers north and south of the border to legal news they might otherwise have overlooked. Although the blog’s mission statement also includes “gossip,” many posts focus on deals, litigation, ethics, lawyer pay, firm management issues and legislation.
With a team of reporters on tap and supported by a network of legal publications, Am Law Daily covers the happenings at the country’s largest law firms, from firm finances and business models to the latest lateral moves and partner defections.
Instead of starting a practice after law school, Markos Moulitsas Zúniga started a liberal political blog. Six years later, more than a half-million visits per day keep his “vast left-wing conspiracy” alive. Fellow Kos bloggers come from all walks of life, from a Chicago associate to a physician from Connecticut. Even former President Jimmy Carter has posted on Kos.
In nearly eight years of blogging, Ann Althouse doesn’t miss a chance to offer her conservative take on the latest political dustup. Or become part of a dustup, as she did this year in a well-publicized (and videotaped) altercation with a pro-labor demonstrator in Madison, Wis., where she lives. Readers less interested in her commentary on pop culture or politics can “make Althouse an all-law blog” in her main nav bar.
As Nicholas Wagoner from Circuit Splits points out, Howard Bashman not only continues to churn out links on this appellate news-watch blog but also points readers to high-quality reporting on the subject. Bashman, practicing out of Willow Grove, Pa., also sends readers directly to federal and state court opinions so they can brush up on the latest appellate news from original sources.
This year, many of our cherished American Lawyer Media blogs (The Careerist, The Blog of Legal Times, The Am Law Daily) went behind paywalls. But late in 2013, the Wall Street Journal's Law Blog came out from behind its paywall, and we wanted to make sure you knew. Its multiple updates every weekday hit most of the highlights of the day's legal news, and we consider it essential reading.
From his seat on the far right, University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Reynolds seems to spend every waking moment linking to and quipping on news stories about politics, economics, the media, and science and technology law. Also look here for The Glenn and Helen Show podcast, which Reynolds co-hosts with his wife, forensic psychologist Dr. Helen Smith.
This blog is indispensable to us for its exhaustive District of Columbia coverage: from happenings at the U.S. Supreme Court (and news about individual justices) to rulings from the District of Columbia Circuit to BigLaw churn in the Beltway.
Stories here never lack for sources, always linking to original reports, legal documents and information on the people making news. Check out this site for frequent updates on the courts’ treatment of Guantanamo detainees.
Legal Blog Watch has a knack for spotlighting the legal news of the weird. Posts are well-written and, as Lowering the Bar blogger Kevin Underhill says, “very witty and always interesting.”
“Independent journalist” Jane Genova was originally drawn to the law blogging game by lead paint litigation in Rhode Island, and consumer law is still a main topical focus. But some posts are career pep talks, and whatever’s hot—be it law firm turmoil or Wall Street drama—also gets coverage.
HALL OF FAME 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.
Manhattan criminal defense attorney Scott Greenfield has his finger on the pulse of the blawgosphere. His early morning posts offer biting commentary, often uncovering by breakfast what we’ll be talking about for the rest of the day. Although he announced his retirement in February, by March he was back in business. “Truth be told, I was bored,” he wrote.
Ohio State law professor Douglas Berman notes congressional hearings, scholarship and general trends related to sentencing, and sometimes handicaps the sentences that can be anticipated by those convicted in high-profile criminal cases. Unlike most criminal law bloggers, he writes with a fairly objective tone.
"Grits for Breakfast is a fact-packed, trustworthy reporter of the weirdness that makes up corrections and criminal law in the Lone Star State," writes Bob Mabry, a solo from the Woodlands, Texas. Public policy researcher Scott Henson has "shown more naked emperors than Hans Christian Andersen ever did."
New York Post photographer Steven Hirsch’s site is more artistic endeavor than legal blog, but we dare you not to love it. The premise: Hirsch photographs defendants leaving the 100 Centre Street courthouse in New York City, interviews them and transcribes their stories.
HALL OF FAME George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley draws on his own experience in high-profile litigation as he analyzes breaking news items that raise legal questions. His posts, and those of his guests, show a particular interest in the First Amendment, rights of consumers, the rights of criminal defendants and the patently bizarre.
Catholic law professors note upcoming lectures, discuss how public policy affects the poor, and often discuss in serial posts how they can best integrate their chosen faith with their chosen profession.
HALL OF FAME Paul Caron, a professor at Pepperdine University School of Law, covers tax reform in the news and scholarship related to U.S. tax law, and he notes celebrity tax disasters. But we like TaxProf at least as much for Caron's exhaustive coverage of news and debates covering legal education. He became the sole owner of the Law Professor Blogs Network and a makeover of that group of blogs soon followed.
“Professor Bainbridge is often cited by the Delaware courts in their opinions due to their recognition of his expertise in corporate law. In addition to citations to his books and articles, the court also has cited to his blog posts. [UCLA prof Stephen Bainbridge’s] blog is required reading for those who want the most current insights on corporate law developments from one of the foremost corporate law scholars in the country. His perceptive posts on culture and current events are also enjoyable.” —Francis Pileggi, Delaware Corporate & Commercial Litigation Blog
Posts here link to writings and media appearances by University of Chicago law professors. There are posts by the profs themselves about the stock market, the political market and other topics of their choosing. The blog also occasionally feeds recorded lectures into its Faculty Podcast.
Feminist Law Professors have zero tolerance for discrimination at work, at school or in pop culture. Moderators Ann Bartow (U of South Carolina) and Bridget Crawford (Pace) praise and recognize self-identified feminists in an expansive blogroll. And they lead the charge when they see affronts to equality.
You can now read 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Richard Posner's Reflections on Judging in hardcover. But you can read his takes on almost anything else—from law school reform to population growth to patent trolls—at this blog. And, of course, Nobel Prize-winning University of Chicago economist Gary Becker logs in his own thoughts on the same subjects.
This blog has a unique design element: a dozen book titles down its right-hand side—all written by the blog’s authors. Yale University’s Jack Balkin and fellow academic heavyweights take a liberal look at legal issues through the filters of the Constitution and history.
Concurring Opinions doesn’t shy away from weighty legal theory and con law issues. The dozen-plus authors and guests pull from a broad background of academic interests to draft well-written posts that can strike a chord and draw thoughtful discussion in the comments or on other blogs.
Day in and day out, law professors post conversational entries that are ahead of the curve. Posts take note of interesting law review articles, describe dilemmas that law professors encounter in the course of their jobs, and make intelligent and timely observations on other subjects of interest to them.
Conglomerate, aka The Glom, is a group effort by academics who emphasize, however loosely, business, law, economics and the catchall—society.
This decidedly left-leaning blog from the American Constitution Society covers court cases and proposed legislation that threatens individual rights. Editorials coming from the likes of the ACLU, the First Amendment Center and gay-rights groups appear regularly.
Law professors blog about new innovations and trends—whether entrepreneurial or technological—that are changing both how they relate to their students and how they disseminate their scholarship.
Empirical Legal Studies is the place to find the data to back up law-related theories and observations. ELS authors and their devoted readers provide a ready-made forum to not only discuss data already in the news but also evaluate emerging legal scholarship.
We’ve consistently heard from readers like Chris Holly who check Patently-O daily to keep up on developments (and jobs) in patent law. “I’m a patent prosecutor and reading the blog every day keeps me up to speed with what is going on in the patent world,” wrote Holly, an associate with Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell and Berkowitz in D.C. Co-authors Dennis Crouch of the University of Missouri School of Law and Jason Rantanen of the University of Iowa also have guest posts by other patent practitioners “that are insightful,” Holly wrote. We were excited to see a “Patent Ethics” corner started by Mercer University law prof David Hricik, but sorry to see it go on hiatus during his clerkship.
From one post: “We love finding fissures in the conservative movement and its generally disparaging views about the civil justice system.” Here, the plaintiffs-side Center for Justice & Democracy makes strident observations about newsy tort cases and never misses the humorous angles.
HALL OF FAME Whether or not you're sympathetic to tort reform and the idea that the government overregulates, Overlawyered is a little hair-raising and eye-opening. Its stated mission is to bring to light abuses of the legal system that raise costs and inhibit justice. Acquired this year by the Cato Institute, the blog is the project of Walter Olson, a senior Cato fellow. Having celebrated its 15th anniversary in July, Overlawyered says it may be the oldest legal blog: "At least, no one seems to be able to name one that's older." (Editor's note: After this issue went to press, Robert Ambrogi's Lawsites reported that Olson was not the first blogger: It was Greg Siskind.)
We couldn’t agree more with one fan who held up SCOTUSblog as “extraordinary,” a site that “sets the gold standard to which all blawgs should aspire.” Indeed, SCOTUSblog was on a roll in 2012 as it celebrated its 10-year anniversary, crossed over into pop culture as founder Tom Goldstein made an appearance on The Daily Show, and saw an astounding response to its live blog of the Supreme Court’s health care ruling. The coverage attracted 5 million hits and 1 million simultaneous users, including President Barack Obama.
HALL OF FAME Philadelphia lawyer Kelly Phillips Erb finds the tax angles of the day's major stories, sometimes consulting experts and sometimes sharing her own opinions on U.S. tax policy. Celebrities' tax woes often make appearances. This year, she also did a series of "back to school" posts that answered tax questions tied to the beginning of the academic year: Are tutoring services deductible? How do you document school-supply donations for tax purposes? Can you deduct expenses related to kids' sports?
Have trouble sorting through all the credit and bankruptcy rhetoric during the presidential campaign? The Bankruptcy Law Network, a group of seasoned consumer advocates and bankruptcy lawyers, was quick to post about these issues both in context and in plain English.
"The Drug and Device Law blog is the most timely, comprehensive blog I have found on prescription drug and medical device litigation. For recurring issues, the blog updates its scorecards and cheat sheets. For other issues, it offers in-depth summaries with thoughtful analysis. The quality of writing is excellent. As a result, despite its defense slant, the blog has garnered a diverse readership." —James M. Sullivan, Hollingsworth, Washington, D.C.
HALL OF FAME "Religion Clause is an invaluable resource for anyone interested in religion in the law. It handles controversial issues in an extraordinarily evenhanded and useful manner. As a litigator working in this area of the law, I read it every morning to keep abreast of new cases and scholarship." —Charles Gokey, the Steven Gey fellow at Americans United for Separation of Church and State in Washington, D.C.
Drexel's Dan Filler is the new blogger on the block, joining the University of Chicago's Leiter to keep the legal academy on top of law school news, including people moves, appointments and goings-on in administration, plus rankings and data to rival those published by U.S. News.
This blog, which covers the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, "is absolutely one of the best law blogs out there. Though it deals with a relatively specialized area of law, it also happens to be an area of law that has been on the front page of newspapers for the past two years. With great contributors and wide readership, the blog is the No. 1 go-to for every active-duty judge advocate." —Ryan Coward of Elkus Sisson & Rosenstein in Denver
It’s not all fun and games here, where posts from law profs and others tackle all things from the nexus of law and sports. Think the Chicago Cubs’ playoff curse is off-topic? You’d be wrong. In an October post, contributor Howard Wasserman, a law professor at Florida International University, argued that the Cubs may have cursed themselves on the way to their last World Series victory in 1908 by winning a key game against the Giants with an act of “legal formalism.”
Those who are looking for insights into what makes a jury tick will find answers at Deliberations, a smart, captivating blog by Milwaukee’s Anne Reed, a trial lawyer and jury consultant. Her posts and analyses are conversational, smattered with enough jury news-of-the-weird to satisfy a general audience. Don’t miss her “juror misconduct” category and the “American Gallery of Juror Art.”
Legal Ethics Forum takes a dispassionate look at the choices and circumstances that get lawyers into hot water with professional regulators. With more than a dozen named co-authors from across the country, there’s always a fresh post and new perspective to consider.
The posts here often have us wondering, “What were they thinking?” If a lawyer strays from ethical boundaries, the professors who blog here are quick to pick up on the trail of any discipline with to-the-point, snark-free dispatches.
“Slaw is to law what Slate is to popular culture,” law blogger Robert Ambrogi writes. “It is an online magazine with a diverse array of writers and perspectives covering a wide array of legal topics. It is always interesting, always smart and always insightful. It represents the best of what a legal blog—strike that—any blog can aspire to be.”
Apple fanatic Ben Stevens of Spartanburg, S.C., takes on the Microsoft/PC-centric law practice model as the Mac Lawyer. He chronicles the experiences of lawyers who make the switch from PC to Mac, and offers tips and advice to those considering a Mac-based practice. Stevens, along with fellow blogger Grant Griffiths of Clay Center, Kan., formed a Google forum called MILO (Macs in Law Offices), which as of this writing had more than 800 members.
Are you an Android power user? Then this St. Petersburg, Fla., solo’s blog is for you. Rick Georges puts up one or two brief but substantive posts a day, alternating between content related to Droid apps and other software, and op-eds on law practice issues.
Jim Calloway’s blog has a decidedly law-practice-management theme. The veteran Oklahoma lawyer comments about software, hardware and gadgets that improve the lives and practices of lawyers everywhere.
HALL OF FAME LexBlog founder Kevin O'Keefe of Seattle blogs for a tech-savvy lawyer audience about how to make the most of their legal blogs and presence on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. But don't misunderstand—blogging isn't all about marketing to O'Keefe. "Search results may not be the be-all and end-all for good law blogs," he writes. He thinks it's great how blogs have democratized publishing for lawyers who can now avoid gatekeepers for law reviews and trade industry publications.
Even though we find its brown-leathered background makes this blog hard to read, Ross Ipsa Loquitur is an excellent source for tech trends, tools, practice-related techniques and the latest gadgets. Legal tech expert Ross Kodner and his crew at MicroLaw.com in Milwaukee sometimes lighten up and “edutain” their readers.
We first got to know Ernie Svenson when he blogged while Hurricane Katrina blasted New Orleans, then chronicled his escape from the city when the levees failed. Svenson was back at it this year when Hurricane Gustav made a pass at New Orleans. This time, this plugged-in lawyer turned to a text-based blogging platform, using Twitter to post regular updates.
This is where St. Louis lawyer Dennis Kennedy blogs his ABA Journal legal tech columns, aggregates tweets from his Twitter microblog, and prefaces new episodes of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, the podcast he co-hosts with Inter Alia’s Tom Mighell at Legal Talk Network on alternate Wednesdays.
Dallas lawyer Tom Mighell’s bread and butter are his blawg-of-the-day posts and his newsletter, Internet Legal Research Weekly. He told Lawyers USA in August that he has tracked nearly 2,300 law blogs since 2000, and declared that failed legal blogs last an average of one year and 10 months.
BabyBarista offers an entertaining fictional account of a junior barrister published by the Times Online. The blog’s author, Tim Kevan, described “BabyBarista” to the U.K. news site This Is North Devon as “a sneaky character who gets up to all sorts of shenanigans in order to succeed. You wouldn’t like his behavior at all, were it not for the fact that BabyBarista’s opponents are even worse.”
Bitter Lawyer is a category killer for legal humor websites, complete with video programming, daily reports from the Bitter Newsroom and frank interviews with lawyers with unusual stories to tell, such as the lawyer-founder of a dating agency for marrieds looking to cheat.
The lawyers at Ford & Harrison take a closer look at the employees of Dunder Mifflin on NBC’s The Office—more specifically, at the egregious violations of labor and employment law featured in every episode.
While this blog's most popular posts help female readers steer clear of the fashion police, former Wall Street lawyer Kat Griffin also takes questions from young lawyers and others about how to avoid career pitfalls. Posts written with empathy cover business etiquette, troubles with co-workers, interviewing, networking and more.
Blonde Justice, who has been at this blogging game since 2004, reports that she is back in her “dream job” as a public defender after a depressing foray into private practice. Though she hides her name and location behind a wall of pink, she otherwise doesn’t hold back when she’s writing about her life and her work.
The Namby Pamby, a civil litigator in Chicago, still suffers fools gladly and updates us on “facepalm moments” prompted by his clients, his colleagues and his own lapses. We’re still laughing, and we’re interested in his evolving perspective: Namby has been blogging since his law student days, but his blog (not sure about the new layout, BTW) notes he’s soon to be married, and he must be 30 by now.
Legal Juice’s John Mesirow puts up scores of tort-related news-of-the-weird posts that you won’t find on your Web browser home page. He seems to hit smaller news markets and locate complaints and unusual laws that other blawggers don’t find.
Getting a mention by “helpme123” on Temporary Attorney isn’t likely to result in pats on the back at the office. Indeed, this blog seeks to blow the whistle on “nasty sweatshops, swindling law schools and opportunistic staffing agencies,” especially if the victims are contract attorneys.
By day, Suzanne Dupree Howe of Houston and Stephen Seckler of Boston are in the recruiting business. And, in some other part of their day, they are Counsel to Counsel—bloggers focused on career advice, commentary and tips for associates, partners and in-house lawyers.
If you’re looking to cut through the gossipy nonsense of most anonymous blogs for some real advice, look no further. The author—the anonymous “Hiring Partner” at an Am Law 200 firm—directs posts to millennials about the questions and issues they have trying to land law firm jobs.
Law firm associate Geoffrey G. Gussis of Morristown, N.J., apparently misses the in-house world so much that he devotes an entire blog to helping former peers find the job opportunities and news most relevant to them.
Solo Practice University founder Susan Cartier Liebel—as well as the lawyers, current and former, who round out her contributor roster—write thoughtful posts about how to succeed while maintaining your sanity in a solo practice. Posts covering ethical pitfalls, work-life balance or even search engine optimization are sometimes in the form of audio "guest lectures."
The 21st century has been tough on traditional legal business models, and it's widely felt that law firms need to innovate or die. But what, exactly, do these lawyers have to do? And why aren't they doing it? Canadian management consultant Jordan Furlong tackles these questions at his blog and in a new e-book: Evolutionary Road: A Strategic Guide to Your Law Firm's Future. Some interesting posts from this year look at how law firms' values and culture contribute to their woes.
Hull McGuire’s Dan Hull doesn’t pull any punches when he challenges readers to go beyond what’s currently en vogue, take a step back and be sure they’re serving the people who matter most to the firm: clients.
HALL OF FAME 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
After 10 years of blogging, D.C. lawyer Carolyn Elefant is still a voice for solos in a profession that she feels—as far as costs and ethical obligations—favors too much those practicing at large firms. Elefant isn’t really one to blog on innovative law practice management solutions she reads about elsewhere; it’s usually her own ideas and opinions she shares with readers day after day.
How could we not include this newbie blogger in our favorites list? Here’s a rare chance to get direct mentoring from a lawyer legend. Spence is ready to share his secrets to trial success, his tips on how to survive surly judges, and his ruminations about growing old.
Larry Bodine LawMarketing Blog is a key resource for legal marketers. While Bodine blogs his rainmaking tips to practitioners, he also covers the legal marketing profession like a beat, seeking comment from BigLaw marketing officers and other experts.
If there’s a new twist on billing strategies, law practice marketing or client development, Matthew Homann is likely to pick up the topic. Homann doesn’t update daily, but if you check back from time to time you’ll find something worth the wait.
Broc Romanek’s posts—which appear every weekday, usually before you’ve had your coffee—provide exhaustive coverage of corporate governance topics, the Security and Exchange Commission’s latest moves, and reactions of both companies and shareholders.
Blogger Sharon Nichols, a University of Alabama law student, turned her posts on “political commentary and general frivolity” into a book deal. Her Facebook group, I Judge You When You Use Poor Grammar, led to a forthcoming book by the same name. Nichols has nearly abandoned political topics, but Bama’s mass e-mail policies give her plenty of post fodder.
“Boalties” from the University of California at Berkeley collaborate to blog about news, sports, politics, gossip and student questions. Founder Armen Adzhemyan, now an associate at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in Los Angeles, set the tone in 2004 with his ground rules for the blog: “Boalt, law schools, law, politics or anything is fair game.”
HALL OF FAME Ms. JD's blog is one way its namesake organization builds community among new or aspiring female lawyers. Some posts are written by Ms. JD's "writers in residence," who each commit to blogging on a particular topic—legal research or mentoring, for instance—every month for a year. Other posters, some anonymous, write about their experiences in the legal profession and offer advice or moral support.
Lawyer2Lawyer is not actually a legal blog, but it’s one of the best sit-back-and-examine-a-legal-topic discussion shows, and it’s entirely Web-based. Hosts J. Craig Williams (Irvine, Calif.) and Robert Ambrogi (Rockport, Mass.) share views and butt heads in the podcast produced by Legal Talk Network.
For audio enthusiasts, LexisNexis Legal News offers a free way via podcast to get a daily dose of legal news and case activity updates.
One of the things we like about Out-Law Radio, besides its pro quality and journalist Matthew Magee’s accent, is that it’s usually a breezy 10 minutes. The show offers a weekly overview of international technology law news. The podcast is published by London-based firm Pinsent Masons’ Out-Law.com, which beat out ABAJournal.com for a 2008 Webby Award. But we’re not bitter, since we still won the popularity contest. Remember our five-word speech: “Had we lost, we’d sue.”
David Levine hosts this radio-interview show on KZSU-FM at Stanford University. Guests from the intersection of technology and culture discuss books and theories shaping the development of Internet law. Show descriptions and bios are listed in blog format on the site. Warning: The shows are academic and, as a result, very long.
As spawn of the reality/infotainment genre, this podcast comes directly from the FBI’s public affairs desk and features cases closed by the FBI. So if you have one minute each week to hear about cases they’re proud of, hit play.
HALL OF FAME 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.)
Eric Turkewitz’s blog remains a great source for news and commentary from a plaintiffs-side tort lawyer. He may not be blogging as often as in years past, but when he does, it’s worth reading. Despite the name, it’s not all personal injury law; he talks about topics as diverse as politics, long-distance running, legal outsourcing and online extortion.
Reporters at Texas Lawyer offer snappy perspectives on developing stories, news briefs and happenings around the Texas bar (including who’s performing at Mark Lanier’s holiday party each year).
It’s “Boston Legal meets Miami Vice,” one reader tells us. And posts often keep a sharp local focus. But this anonymous blawgger uses enough humor to keep anyone interested and enough hyperlinks to help you keep pace. It helps if you happen to share the author’s dislike of social conservatism and his love for Bo Derek.