Blawg Review

It's not just a blog carnival; it's the law! ~ a fool in the forest

Lawyers Appreciate Link Love

Lawyers appreciate link love.

Stephanie West Allen of idealawg, who's scheduled to host Blawg Review on June 25th, and Julie Fleming Brown of Life at the Bar, who will be collaborating with her in that issue of Blawg Review, came up with this wonderful idea to close out the year with a flurry of appreciation in the legal blogosphere.

I was tagged by my good friend David Giacalone, whose new blog SHLEP: the Self-Help Law ExPress, winner of this year's Blawg Review Award for Best Law Blog in the Public Interest, has received even more link love recently than his popular haiku and legal punditry blog at f/k/a..., which was recognized last year with an award for Creative Law Blog.

Remember, if you find an interesting law blog linked in Blawg Review, consider spreading some link love on your blog. It's really appreciated.

It's a bit late in the game for me to tag three law bloggers by name, so I'll take this opportunity to invite you if you were not yet tagged and would like to contribute to this "Lawyers Appreciate" linkfest. Go ahead, and say the anonymous editor of Blawg Review invited you.

Here’s a list of those who’ve joined in the "Lawyers Appreciate…" countdown.

Blawg Review Awards 2006

The Freedom Clause
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, 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 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...

Brownie Treats for Santa!

The 2006 Blawggies

Dennis Kennedy's Best Law-related Blogging Awards have been announced on his eponymous blog, where he picks his favorite law blogs in the following categories this year:

1. Best Overall Law-Related Blog
2. Best Overall Law Practice Management Blog
3. The Marty Schwimmer Best Practice-Specific Legal Blog
4. Best Legal Blog Category
5. Best Legal Blog Digest
6. Best Blawg About Legal Blawgging
7. Best Legal Podcast
8. The Sherry Fowler Best Writing on a Legal Blog Award
9. Best Law Professor Blog
10. Best New Law-related Blog
11. Best Legal Technology Blog

Go here to see which law blogs Dennis Kennedy selected.

These categories are different from the annual Blawg Review Awards to be announced here on December 25th this year, when more of the best blawgs will be recognized for outstanding achievement in blogging.

So secretive is the selection process for the Blawg Review Awards that nobody knows what criteria are considered, or even who makes the selections. Last year's Blawg Review Awards 2005 were awarded by Themis, the Goddess of Justice and Law, but the mantle has been passed to a new host here for the Blawg Review Awards 2006.

Blog Carnival Specials

David Harlow's Health Care Law Blog hosts Blawg Reivew #88, an entertaining selection of the greatest hits found on law blogs -- arranged with musical musings and links to some of the greatest musicians.

Also this week, Jeff Cornwall, the Director of the Belmont University Center for Entrepreneurship presents The Carnival of the Capitalists' List to Santa.

Which reminds me...

There might be some nice surprises on Christmas Day this year, when lawyers, law students and law professors who blog are presented here with this year's Blawg Review Awards.

This week we're looking for your submissions and recommendations for awards in categories similar to the Blawg Review Awards 2005. And if your law blog doesn't fit one of those categories, make up a new category you think yours would be the best in and we'll consider it for special recognition this year. Help ensure that we don't forget to give an award to every outstanding law blog this year.

There's lots of bloggy goodness to keep you connected with the blogoshere over the holidays between Christmas and New Year's Day, when we'll have yet another special presentation to start the New Year.

In-House Lawyer Blogs

Blogs by in-house counsel are few and far between, as suggested by this recent article on that points to Microsoft Corporation lawyer and blogger David Rudin, Sun Microsystems GC Mike Dillon, and's Jonathan B. Wilson, who hosted Blawg Review #41.
Dillon's blog, the legal thing, opened with lawyerly circumspection. "It will be at times challenging to be as open as I would like," he wrote. Despite the cautious start, Dillon's subsequent posts have been increasingly substantive, particularly a detailed piece -- "The 'Tax' on Innovation" -- on patent reform, which was replete with links and reader comments. Other entries range from humor to personal reflections. Dillon, who leads a team of 190 lawyers in 25 countries, says he spent about a year and a half toying with the idea of a blog and determining who his target audience would be. One goal was to create a sense of community among his far-flung staff. Self-expression was also a draw. "All of us lawyers are closet authors and want to be Grisham or Thoreau (sic) [Turow]," he says.
Some in-house lawyers who blog, like the hosts of Blawg Review #86 and Blawg Review #37, prefer to keep a really low profile in the blawgosphere.
Hanna Hasl-Kelchner, associate GC of Greensboro, North Carolina -- based Lorillard Tobacco Company, is also a regular poster. Her blog, Legal Literacy, first appeared in January. She uses it to update her book, "A Business Guide to Legal Literacy," which is aimed primarily at business-side readers. Hasl-Kelchner says she keeps the blog separate from her day job. "As in-house counsel, we have to keep a lower profile," she says.
Now that she's been featured in an article in's Legal Technology on in-house legal bloggers, it's time to see how hosting Blawg Review #87 helps to lower the profile of Hanna Hasl-Kelchner, who's recently published The Business Guide to Legal Literacy: What Every Manager Should Know About the Law.

The Business Guide to Legal Literacy bridges the gap between law and business by translating legalese into language that makes business sense and offers a new way to think about the law -- as a useful business tool.

Weblog Awards for Law Blogs

The 2006 Weblog Awards finalists for Best Law Blog are:

How Appealing
The Becker-Posner Blog
Blawg IT
Concurring Opinions
Consumer Law & Policy Blog
The Grotian Moment: Saddam Hussein Trial Blog
The Volokh Conspiracy
JURIST - Paper Chase

[Vote Here]

These finalists are well-known to readers of Blawg Review.

Howard Bashman hosted Blawg Review #64 at How Appealing, and picked up a Blawg Review Award last year for Breaking Law News.

Concurring Opinions hosted Blawg Review #75 and was recognized as the Best New Blawg in 2005 by the Goddess of Justice and Law.

In our Blawg Review Awards 2005, The Becker-Posner Blog got the nod for the Best Blogging by a Judge, and The Volokh Conspiracy took Best Group Blog by Law Professors.

Last year, Lisa Stone was recognized in in the Blawg Review Awards for Blog Journalism for legal blog watching at's Legal Blog Watch, and for her support for Blawg Review, not to mention her outstanding work organizing BlogHer and judging the BOBs. BlogHer is a finalist for the 2006 Weblog Awards in the category for Best Online Community.

This year, Jen Burke hosted a special Blawg Review #84 on the Transgender Day of Remembrance at Transcending Gender, which is a finalist for the 2006 Weblog Awards in the category for the Best LGBT Blog. Jen's book blog, A Life Less Convenient, is also a finalist in the category for the Best Medical/Health Issues Blog.

Next year, Brett Trout will host Blawg Review on April 30 at Blawg IT.

The 2006 Weblog Awards breaks out political blogs into separate categories for Liberal, Conservative, and Centrist, in which we find blogs by lawyers are finalists, Legal Fiction, Patterico's Pontifications, and Althouse. And TechCrunch, written by reformed lawyer Michael Arrington, is a finalist in the category for Best Technology Blog.

Competing for top honors for Best Blog in the 2006 Weblog Awards are three weblogs produced by lawyers, all of whom were recognized in the Blawg Review Awards 2005. Power Line by John Hinderaker, Scott Johnson, and Paul Mirengoff goes head-to-head with the Daily Kos, a community weblog founded by lawyer Markos Moulitsas, a.k.a. Kos. In our Blawg Review Awards last year, the nod for Best Politico Blog by Lawyers was given to both Power Line and Daily Kos, the latter also a finalist in the category for Best Online Community. Another finalist in the category for Best Blog is Instapundit by law professor Glenn Reynolds, a strong supporter of Blawg Review who got the Grand Panjandrum Award from Themis, the Goddess of Justice and Law.

Congratulations to all the finalists, and good luck!

Vote here for Best Law Blog, and find polls for all categories here.

Blawg Review in Purgatory

Blawg Review #86, by Colin Samuels at Infamy or Praise, is quite extraordinary. For starters, we especially appreciated this law blog post, lawyers sentenced to haiku purgatory, without appeal, written by David Giacalone in his inimitable style. But there's much more to enjoy in this issue of Blawg Review, which is as entertaining as it is informative.

In this painting, Dante Alighieri is shown holding a copy of his epic poem The Divine Comedy. He is pointing to a procession of sinners being led down to the circles of Hell on the left. Behind him are the seven terraces of Purgatory, with Adam and Eve representing Earthly Paradise on top. Above them, the sun and the moon represent Heavenly Paradise, whilst on the right is Dante's home city of Florence. The illustration of Florence is self-referential, depicting the recently completed and much celebrated cathedral dome inside which the fresco is painted.

Blawg Review #86 at Infamy or Praise is based upon the second cantica of Dante's Divine Comedy, Purgatorio, and is thus a sequel of sorts to last December's Inferno-themed edition organized around the nine circles of Hell.

Last year, Colin Samuels received the highest praise from the Goddess of Justice and Law for his wonderful presentation of Blawg Review #35 based on Dante's Inferno, the Blawg Review of the Year 2005. This year's awards will be presented here on December 25, 2006.