Web 100: Best law blogs
Read our current Web 100 picks: Blogs, podcasts, Twitter feeds, web tools
2017 ABA Journal Web 100
The Legal Geeks
As superhero and sci-fi movies and TV are surging in popularity, this blog explores the plotlines of Hollywood projects and comic books for potential legal issues. Blogger and podcaster Joshua Gilliland’s geek cred is only rising: He co-hosted panels this year at San Diego Comic Con (for the third time) and San Francisco Comic Con. Gilliland’s favorite practice areas seem to be the Star Wars and Star Trek franchises and Marvel comics.
NEW: The days of law firms’ dominance of the law industry are over. Today’s reality is a mosaic: Firms, corporate law departments and other legal service providers are in place to meet legal consumers’ needs. This is what legal consultant Mark Cohen writes about. Cohen has “an unrelenting commitment to exploring the implications of what the customers and market are saying,” Flaherty says.
NEW: Rocket Matter’s blog features posts on how lawyers can get organized, leverage technology and market their firms—as well as a podcast every Tuesday. Readers who wrote to us also note the blog’s occasional Legal Freedom Fighter Series and Shelter Animal of the Week.
Year after year, readerspraise this blog, which focuses on international judicial assistance. “This blog is a painless way to keep up with international family law developments as they arise,” says Miami lawyer Carolyn West. The blog is “extremely helpful for my work in foreign litigation,” says Laurel Fresquez, a 2L at Harvard Law School who was a law clerk at the Department of Justice’s Office of Foreign Litigation this summer. “Ted Folkman is well-informed and has great legal theories that spark[ed] debate in my office.”
Life at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center
NEW: Murray Newman has been blogging in this space for more than nine years. But this year he was in the eye of the storm—Hurricane Harvey. Life at the Harris County Criminal Justice Center in Houston became more challenging. Some posts are mostly of interest to locals, but others are relatable day-in-the-life stories from criminal defense practice.
NY Bar Picture Book
NEW: At her blog, Wela Quan posts cartoons that reflect on her former life as a corporate lawyer in New York City. Her other claim to fame is her self-published New York Bar Picture Book, which is a visual study outline for the New York state bar exam.
Open Law Lab
Margaret Hagan, a lecturer at the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford University, started this blog as a Stanford Law School student. She blogs about the use of legal design as a means of access to justice—and often uses illustrations to convey her ideas to readers. Her posts also cover the products and projects of legal design thinkers. Her blog’s Legal Design Toolbox also features guidance on how to develop ideas into new products and services.
Race and the Law Prof Blog
Professors write about topics that include race-based inequities in the workplace, racial profiling, and how to teach Dred Scott v. Sanford to students at a time when white supremacy is emerging from the shadows.
Richard Zorza’s Access to Justice Blog
Ambrogi says no blogger covers access-to-justice issues like Washington, D.C., lawyer Richard Zorza. Richard Posner made the plight of pro se litigants a cause celebre when he abruptly retired from the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals at Chicago in September. It “could open a whole front in access to justice,” Zorza writes on the blog. Watch his blog to see what happens.
Ross Legal Tech Corner
NEW: Ross Intelligence “is perhaps the most famous name in legal tech and helps to put the spotlight on other technologies and founders as we seek to change the misconceptions and bias around legal tech,” says Jonathan Marciano, communications director of LawGeex. “The blog provides interesting interviews with legal tech pioneers.”
Screw You Guys, I’m Going Home
Donna Ballman’s blog gives straight talk and comprehensive information to those unsure of the state of the law surrounding their employment dilemmas. This year she had some helpful posts that answered hurricane-related questions: Do you qualify for disaster employment assistance if you lost your job because of a hurricane? Does the Occupational Safety and Health Act protect workers from dangerous post-hurricane work conditions? Do I get paid if a hurricane shuts down my office?
This Morrison & Foerster blog does “a good, consistent job of following developments related to social media in law,” Ambrogi says. Most posts cover social media users’ run-ins with regulators and the court system, social media evidence in the courtroom, and copyright issues related to content posted on social media. But posts also touch on new technologies such as blockchain and highlight data protection issues.
Strategic Legal Technology
HALL OF FAME: Lawyer and knowledge management consultant Ron Friedmann’s blog is “an essential mix of expertise, hope and practicality,” Flaherty says. Posts identify and discuss significant legal tech products, and Friedmann sometimes interviews the people behind these products. He also spots trends in legal news, and this year he live-blogged the International Legal Technology Association’s annual conference.
NEW: The acronym TMCA in this Dorsey & Whitney blog stands for trademarks, copyrights and advertising, and posts cover entertaining legal developments in those areas of law. Readers wrote to us about this blog’s commitment to fun, some citing one post about a fair use lawsuit filed by the heirs of Dr. Seuss entirely in Seussian rhyme. “Despite the light-hearted treatment of the subject, they are able to cleverly convey their thesis,” says Joe Sicilia, a solo in Spokane, Washington. “It’s brilliantly clever writing and informative subject matter.”
Understanding the ADA
William Goren “provides great insight on the ADA and provides analysis from the standpoint of the plaintiff and the defendant,” says J. Courtney Cunningham, a Miami lawyer. “He provides practical tips on how a case or opinion can be used to help your client.” Debra Amens, a lawyer from Battle Mountain, Nevada, says Goren “takes different aspects of the ADA and provides recent case perspectives and insight on how the cases move the law—and how to use the cases in argument.”
“As much a magazine as a blog, Verdict is a consistent source of insightful commentary from leading thinkers in the legal profession,” Ambrogi says. The essays posted (most authors are law professors) tackle topics such as financial system regulation, civil rights, and rulings from the U.S. Supreme Court and other high courts around the world.
Robert Ambrogi, writer of the LawSites blog and co-host of the Lawyer2Lawyer podcast Paul Caron, dean of Pepperdine University School of Law Casey Flaherty, legal operations consultant and principal at Procertas and blogger at 3 Geeks and a Law Blog Staci Zaretsky, editor for Above the Law
Robert Ambrogi, writer of the LawSites blog and co-host of the Lawyer2Lawyer podcast
Paul Caron, dean of Pepperdine University School of Law
Casey Flaherty, legal operations consultant and principal at Procertas and blogger at 3 Geeks and a Law Blog
Staci Zaretsky, editor for Above the Law