Blawg 100 popular vote getters
After ABA Journal editors chose their 100 favorite law blogs for 2014, polls were open to the public. More than 10,000 votes later, the following blogs can claim bragging rights for winning the popular vote:
Defrosting Cold Cases
Alice de Sturler used to investigate cold cases for the Champaign, Illinois, police department. Now, she gives victims of unsolved cases a Web presence—well over 100 victims so far—and also speaks out for defendants she thinks have been wrongfully convicted. If readers are able to find and send her more information about a case she’s written about, she’ll file follow-up posts. Other posts contain interviews with evidence experts and crime novelists about their work.
Top Class Actions
NEW: At this blog, a staff of news writers churns out a barrage of daily posts on the latest class action filings and settlements—ultimately creating a very searchable database of information. With a few clicks, site users can join class action investigations, submit a claim for settlement of an open class action or even submit information to see about getting a class action started.
Law Practice Management
Though titularly aimed at family law practitioners, Lee Rosen’s Divorce Discourse is a law practice management and marketing blog with ideas that are broadly applicable across many practice areas. Using his personal experience in running the four North Carolina offices of his Rosen Law Firm, he spins out larger lessons for attorneys looking to better manage their small and midsize shops.
Legal Research/Legal Writing
In Custodia Legis
NEW: Here at the Law Library of Congress’ blog, post authors interview other LLC staffers about their jobs, summarize recent, interesting legal history-based research assignments and share information about LLC resources for researching different areas of law. Most recently, posts have also been devoted to the LLC-curated Magna Carta exhibition and accompanying lecture series.
The Velvet Hammer
Seasoned litigator Karen Koehler’s blog combines tips gleaned from her career as a trial attorney and glimpses from her daily interactions—all written like trial transcripts. We especially appreciate her legal writing advice, focusing on precision and the elision of unnecessary verbiage.
The Legal Genealogist
Most people who want to uncover their family backgrounds generally have to rely on legal records to piece together their ancestors’ lives. Genealogist Judy G. Russell puts her JD to work explaining what legal terms may have meant in various time periods, what kind of legal documents your ancestors would be likely to appear in, and how to gain access to obscure court and military records.
Labor & Employment
California Peculiarities Employment Law Blog
NEW: Labor laws in the state of California are relatively employee-friendly—Seyfarth Shaw bloggers would even say peculiarly so. Posts cover the latest—and endless—rounds of workplace legislation at the state and municipal levels. Human resources manager Kris Anderson writes that she loves that there’s a blog addressing “the craziness of the sovereign state of California. We are like no other!”
Lowering the Bar
HALL OF FAME: Lowering the Bar’s Kevin Underhill has been making us laugh—and earning a slot in the Blawg 100—since 2010 with his legal musings. Also, check out a book Underhill published this year that stemmed from some of his writing on the blog: The Emergency Sasquatch Ordinance: and Other Real Laws that Human Beings Actually Dreamed Up, Enacted, and Have Sometimes Enforced.
Wills, Trusts & Estates Prof Blog
Death and taxes are certainties for which we may plan. But quite a few of life’s uncertainties can be faced with equanimity as well, if we just make some prudent preparations, Texas Tech law professor Gerry W. Beyer tells us. His blog provides useful advice on doing so, along with book and article summaries and thoughtful news analysis. Entries are concise and accessible, even to those who are unversed in estate law topics.
NEW: Do you have a product you’re trying to choose a brand name or logo for? The aim of this Stites & Harbison blog is to illustrate how other brands chose their trademarks and have subsequently protected them. Bloggers here give the trademark enforcement backstories behind well-known advertising campaigns—or sometimes just note a brand’s new look or slogan and share their blunt thoughts.
Best Practices for Legal Education
NEW: The bloggers here are an overwhelmingly female cadre of law professors who share their approaches to law teaching and engage in discussions about how to keep curriculum in step with the latest data, technology and literature—not to mention the ABA’s accreditation standards. Posts also opine on the value students receive for their law school tuition and the relative value of the bar exam to the profession.
Sometimes inspiring, sometimes infuriating and always irreverent, Popehat is one of the most stalwart blogs out there. A tireless champion of freedom of speech and civil liberties, this group blog delights in tweaking the noses of those it considers copyright trolls. Though its authors have always argued that Popehat is not strictly a law blog, so much of its content centers around legal matters that it easily meets our criteria.
Electronic Discovery Law
NEW: “Bloggers are often told to pick a niche and own it, but many do it wrong, randomly sharking up cases and then droning on about their feelings for the cases. Electronic Discovery Law does it the right way, selecting the most important and useful cases and bringing them to readers’ attention with commentary, not blather. One critique: Every post is written by ‘K&L Gates.’ K&L Gates is some soulless corporate law firm that writes nothing. Real people wrote those articles, and they should be proud of them.”—Max Kennerly from the blog Litigation & Trial