Posted Feb 01, 2014 09:50 am CST
ABA Journal editors picked their favorite 100 law blogs of 2013 and then opened up the polls for some friendly competition. After some 4,000 readers weighed in, the winners and proud owners of bragging rights in each category are:
If there’s a dog-eared manuscript for a legal thriller gathering dust in your back drawer, wipe that sucker off and turn to cold-case consultant Alice de Sturler’s blog. A mixture of interviews with true-crime authors and profiles of real cold cases, Defrosting Cold Cases is both fascinating and heartbreaking.
If you’re suing because your yoga pants are see-through or because hoisting up the back end of a running snowmobile left you short one leg, chances are your case could end up on Abnormal Use. Abnormal Use is a product liability blog, but the writers are also interested in technology issues like social media discovery. Be sure to stop in for the “Friday Links” column, which offers a roundup of offbeat and quirky legal news.
Aimed at family law practitioners, this blog is particularly useful for marketing and management advice. Written by Lee Rosen, the former law practice management editor of the ABA’s Family Advocate for more than a decade, the writing is clear and concise, and the LPM tips for family law firms are not to be missed.
Jean O’Grady, library director at DLA Piper, says that she’s “thought in Boolean” for decades now. In her blog, O’Grady ponders the future of knowledge management, covers the major players in legal publishing and sometimes writes about practice management issues facing leaders of large law firms.
Pharaohs aside, the tangible remnants of most people’s lives are not desert pyramids, but legal documents. Genealogists use wills, contracts, census reports, court documents and even criminal records to build a picture of ancestors’ lives. Blogger and lecturer Judy Russell uses her law degree and genealogy training to help people decipher the meaning behind the legal documents they find and to give tantalizing tips for further exploration.
George Washington University law professor Jonathan Turley draws on his own experience in high-profile litigation to analyze breaking news with legal issues. His posts—and those of his guests—show a particular interest in the First Amendment, consumer rights and criminal defendants’ rights, as well as the patently bizarre.
Eric Meyer, a partner at Dilworth Paxson in Philadelphia, “is candid yet informative,” says human resources professional Lonniece Senior. “His humor and sarcasm help ease away some of the employment law pain he dissects for us. I never open this blog and not chuckle! I am so selfish I don’t want others to see the URL for fear they will catch on to where I get a good portion of my info!”
“The site highlights interesting and alternative career paths for lawyers,” says Barbara Siegel of Neighborhood Legal Services of Los Angeles County. “The writing is approachable, and the posts are always full of links to additional resources. As an adjunct law professor,” Siegel adds, “I routinely hear from students that they are not sure what to do after graduation and the bar exam. This blog is a great reference point for students and young lawyers who are struggling with career and lifestyle choices.”
Judge Richard Kopf, who has assumed senior status on the U.S. District Court for the District of Nebraska, offered a unique view from the bench with this blog before writing a farewell post Jan. 1. Kopf shared his unexpectedly poignant thoughts on life as a federal judge, including one post in which he admitted that his sentencing instincts were proven wrong by a former convict who redeemed himself.
New Orleans lawyer Jeff Richardson, who lines up to get his hands on the latest Apple products on the day they are released, shares his experiences in great detail (focusing on the lawyerly uses of these devices) and rounds up Apple coverage from all over the Web. So if you want the skinny on iOS 7, the iPhone 5S and the recently released iPad Air and iPad Mini with Retina display, this is the blog to visit.
Jessica Mederson and Josh Gilliland—lawyers and lovers of pop culture—are perhaps the nation’s foremost experts on the legal issues that can be studied from John Cusack movies. Don’t miss their irreverent video and audio podcasts, in which you can learn about everything from Renaissance fairs and comic-cons to torts and tortes. (You may remember Gilliland from past Blawg 100s as the author of Bow Tie Law’s Blog. The bow ties still make an appearance.)
To see vote totals, browse the complete list of Blawg 100 honorees and learn which blogs have been elevated to our Blawg 100 Hall of Fame, visit ABAJournal.com/Blawg100.