Blawg 100 Hall of Fame
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.
Persuasive Litigator (2016)
If you’re a trial lawyer, understanding jury psychology can provide crucial insight into how you should be approaching your case. The jury consultants behind Persuasive Litigator offer advice on convincing techniques and explanations for jury behavior that might otherwise seem baffling.
Ken White and his flock are fighting a holy war for free speech. His creed: You don’t have the right not to be offended. The writing is clear, funny and instructive: Check out his semi-regular “lawsplainer” posts that offer his lawyerly take on the constitutional issues of the day.
The group blog Prawfsblawg provides a smorgasbord of information valuable to law professors. Topics range from its authors’ most recent legal research, to how to advance in academia, to the implications of recent case decisions and legislation. Though founder Dan Markel died tragically in 2014, the other professors who blog on Prawfsblawg have kept up the quality and frequency of posting.
Real Lawyers Have Blogs (2013)
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.
Religion Clause (2014)
“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.
Ride the Lightning (2015)
Digital forensics and information security expert Sharon Nelson “gives lawyers the knowledge to protect both client and firm private data,” writes Jennifer Meisberger, practice management adviser for the Tigard, Oregon-based Professional Liability Fund. Regular posts focus on electronic evidence issues, cybersecurity trends and disastrous data breaches in the news.
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.
Simple Justice (2012)
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.
Solo Practice University (2015)
Susan Cartier Liebel and her rock-solid roster of contributors give comprehensive advice and frank opinions for those who are or want to be solo practitioners. Posts address both a reader’s practical questions and conflicted emotions.
Strategic Legal Technology (2017)
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.
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?
TaxProf Blog (2013)
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.
This year, Santa Clara University law prof Eric Goldman put his Forbes blog Tertium Quid—written more for a lay audience—on pause and refocused on this one he’s been writing since 2005. Posts cover topics such as lawsuits related to keyword advertising, online contracts, and court rulings related to the Defend Trade Secrets Act and the Communications Decency Act.
3 Geeks and a Law Blog (2014)
While some of our other “geeky” blogs focus on analyzing pop culture in terms of the law, 3 Geeks and a Law Blog devotes itself to actual technology and how it affects one’s law practice. Visit it for tips on information management, discussions of new legal tech and analysis about the future of legal services.
THR, Esq. (2015)
When celebrities sue, THR, Esq. is on it. But this Hollywood Reporter blog does so much more than offer knowedgable coverage of A-listers’ fights over money, defamation or intellectual property. It anticipates legal issues that may arise as technology ushers in new ways for media to be consumed and funded.
Jonathan Turley (2013)
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.
Rebecca Tushnet’s 43(B)log (2016)
Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but it can also be a violation of trademark law. Rebecca Tushnet has been chronicling astounding accounts of trademark violations and false advertising cases on this blog since 2003, making her one of the most lasting and prolific bloggers on our list.
The Volokh Conspiracy (2012)
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.
A loyal audience devours this blog seven days a week—and some readers have reported that trusted Texas Tech law professor Gerry W. Beyer will respond to them when they reach out. Beyer stays on top of new regulations in Texas ad nationwide as well as news and insights from both mainstream media and scholarly journals that affect those with estate planning and elder law practices.