It's a new tradition on the last Monday of each year for an anonymous editor to announce the Blawg Review Awards for the best law blogs in numerous categories. The list isn't exhaustive, and we apologize in advance for the many excellent legally-oriented blogs that deserve to be included in this year's awards presentation but were not, due to imperfections in the selection process.
But those law blogs that have been given awards this year are certainly worth your attention. In many cases, they're obvious choices. But there are a few surprises.
Because the last Monday of 2006 falls on December 25th, and in the spirit of the holidays, the Blawg Review Awards this year are presented by Santa Claus to law bloggers who've been especially good this year.
The Volokh Conspiracy gets the award for Community and Social Interaction on a law blog, for conspiring to get the most votes for the Law Blog of the Year in the 2006 Weblog Awards. Congratulations!
Jeremy Blachman picks up this year's award for Persona of the Year for Anonymous Lawyer, the blog, the book, the law firm.
The award for Intelligent Design is presented to Steve Bainbridge for the ProfessorBainbridge.com, which has evolved into an online legal magazine with an eclectic personal journal, a law blog, and a wine blog.
Best Law Blog Design goes to May It Please the Court, with kudos to Optional Design Group for creative design and for site development to Neurosity.
Above the Law is recognized as the Best New Law Blog.
The award for Best Blawg Theme goes to Overlawyered, chronicling the high cost of our legal system.
Monica Bay gets the award for the Most Creative Law Blog Name for The Common Scold, while the award for Best Law Blog Name goes to Likelihood of Confusion by Ron Coleman.
The award for Best Tagline for a law blog goes to Allison Margolin's blog, Allison's Wonderland, "The World of LA's Dopest Attorney".
There's no monopoly in the category Best Group Blog by Lawyers in a Law Firm, Antitrust Review sharing this award with PHOSITA.
James Maule gets recognition for the Best Blog by a Law Professor for MauledAgain.
Concurring Opinions takes Best Group Blog by Law Professors.
Lawyerlike grabs Best Blog by a Law Student.
De Novo wins Best Group Blog by Law Students.
The award for Best Blawg By A Paralegal goes to nearlylegal.
J. Craig Williams receives the award for Best Blog by a Practicing Attorney for May It Please the Court.
Bruce MacEwen picks up the award for Best Practice Management Blog for Adam Smith, Esq.
Bill Marler gets the Law Firm Blogs Award for coordinating various practice specialty blogs providing commentary on food poisoning outbreaks and litigation. This is the second year in a row this award has been won by a client of LexBlog.
The nod for Best Politico Blog by Lawyers is given to Jeralyn Merritt for TalkLeft, the politics of crime.
SCOTUSblog is recognized for the Best Case Law Coverage.
The award for Best Blogging by a Judge goes to Richard Posner for the Becker-Posner Blog for the second year in a row.
The award for the Best Special Interest Blog by a lawyer goes to Jen Burke for Transcending Gender, not to mention the blog for her book, A Life Less Convenient.
Ann Althouse is recognized for Best Personal Blog by a legally-oriented female blogger for Althouse.
Glenn Reynolds gets the award for Best Personal Blog by a legally-oriented male blogger for Instapundit.
Scott Henson gets the award for Equal Justice for Grits for Breakfast.
David Giacalone wins the award for Best Law Blog In The Public Interest for SHLEP: the Self-Help Law ExPress.
Baseball Crank gets the award for Best Off-Topic Law Blog.
The Trademark Blog picks up the award for Best Legal Specialty Blog.
The award for Best Legal Consultant Blog goes to Matt Homann for the [non] billable hour.
Best Mentoring Law Blog goes to Arnie Herz for Legal Sanity.
The award for Best Blog By A Reformed Attorney goes to TechCrunch, by Michael Arrington.
The award for Best Law Blog by a legal mediator goes to Diane Levin for the Online Guide to Mediation.
Connie Crosby gets the award for Legal Support Blog.
Denise Howell of Bag and Baggage, Between Lawyers, Lawgarithms, and elsewhere in the blawgosphere, receives the award for Blawg Diva.
The award for Best Legal Podcast goes to Bob Ambrogi's and Craig Williams' Coast to Coast again this year, but the nod also goes to Denise Howell for This Week in Law, the Best New Legal Podcast. It will take a lot of work to wrestle this award from two-time winner Coast to Coast, but if anyone has a shot for next year's top legal podcast, it's Denise Howell.
Balkinization gets the Blawg Review Award for Legal Reasoning.
Ernest Svenson picks up the award for Best Blawg With Local Flavor for Ernie the Attorney.
The award for Best Source for Legal Headline News goes to Howard J. Bashman for How Appealing.
Bob Ambrogi and Carolyn Elefant are recognized for Blog Journalism for their excellent work as editors of Legal Blog Watch, part of the Law.com Blog Network.
The award for Best Online Law Magazine using blog technology goes to QuizLaw.
Best British Law Blog goes to Justin Patten at Human Law.
Rob Hyndman gets the award for Best Canadian Law Blog.
The award for the Best Australian Blawg goes to Peter Black at Freedom to Differ.
The award for Global Perspective goes to What About Clients?.
Best Law Blog By In-House Counsel goes to Google's William Patry for The Patry Copyright Blog.
Best Print on Law Blogs goes to Nexus Law Journal, Vol. 11, 2006, which published Humanizing the Profession: Lawyers Find Their Public Voices Through Blogging, written by Colin Samuels.
Evan Schaeffer is recognized for a lifetime of achievement in blog years, for Evan Schaeffer's Legal Underground and The Illinois Trial Practice Weblog.
Honorable Mentions for extraordinary presentations of Blawg Review go to Evan Schaeffer for the New Year's Blawg Review #38, to Dave Gulbransen for his Back to School Blawg Review #70, to Kevin Thompson for Blawg Review #42, the hitchhiker's guide to the blawgosphere, and to your humble editor for the special Memorial Day Blawg Review #59.
Blawg Review of the Year is awarded again this year to Colin Samuels at Infamy or Praise, for Blawg Review #86, a sequel to his award-winning Blawg Review #35 based upon The Divine Comedy by Dante. There were many close contenders for this top honor, each in its own right deserving of Blawg Review of the Year. But, in the end, everybody loves a blockbuster sequel released just before Christmas.
Well, maybe not everyone. If you think another issue of Blawg Review from #38 through #88 should have won the award for Blawg Review of the Year 2006, by all means say so on your own blog when linking here. Everyone has their personal favorites, and we'd like to know which issue of Blawg Review you enjoyed most this year.
As interesting as it is to read Blawg Review every Monday, maybe it's time to make a New Year's Resolution to join in the fun with other lawyers, law students and legal scholars who blog, as a regular contributor to our weekly linkfest and, may we suggest, as a host of Blawg Review on your own law blog.
Anyway, Santa is tired now and will just lie down here for a minute before I'm on my way...