Blawg Review

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

With Two You Get Blog Rolls

Responding to Sean Sirrine's Blawg Review #46 at De Novo, our favorite curmudgeon David Giacalone thinks lawyers, law professors, and law students have he has better things to do with their his time than everyone creating and maintaining similar blogrolls on their law blogs.

Hopefully, David and Sean both will like this new collaborative law blogroll, myHq blawgs. It's a work in progress—a labor of link love—and will be developed with features and new categories suggested by law bloggers, from time to time. This blogroll will be updated and maintained by the tireless team of editors at Blawg Review.

If you think this is useful, we'd appreciate if you'd add a link or mention myHq blawgs on your own law blog to help your readers discover this new resource. It's wikid.

Update: Kevin, Esq., at Tech Law Advisor says, "I definitely believe that this is a great project - to collect all the legal blogs on one page, but still feel strongly that permanent links, or an email or a comment (at least for bloggers just starting out) are great so that others know who's reading them."

I agree with Kevin. This collaborative myHq blawgs web page is designed to be something different—to add a lot more good blawgs with a single additional link to a more selective blogroll that reflects the interests of each law blogger. This project is not intended to be as comprehensive as other blawg directories, either, but is just another way for law bloggers to gain exposure. Those who appreciate the value of the "blawg" tag, will notice that this new project already ranks highly on Google for "blawgs" and appears on every linked blog's Technorati search page. - Ed.

Update: Ian Best at 3L Epiphany is working on a taxonomy of legal blogs. So far, he's compiled a list of over 600 legal blogs, and he's still looking for readers to suggest law blogs he's not yet listed. Ian emailed your Editor this nice note about our collaborative blawgroll:
You have a lot of great lists there. You are more inclusive than my project will be (i.e. law students, politics, etc). I realize that our lists will overlap, and you can feel free to include whatever blogs from my own list that you like. Thanks for including 3L Epiphany. I'm also glad that you're keeping track of all the Blawg Review hosts, because those reviews are a great service.
Update: Kurt Hunt at Clever WoT has posted an extensive list of law student blogs, a Law Student Blogger Directory organized by law schools, many of which are incorporated into myHq blawgs.

Update: Thanks to David Giacalone for providing editorial oversight of this post and correcting my mistatement of his opinion, and for having the good judgment to add a link to myHq blawgs to the sidebar of his f/k/a weblog even though he finds it irresistible to mess up the name of that link due to his obsessive compulsive blawg disorder. Be well, my friend.

Blawg De Novo Review

If you're into law blogs, and on the lookout for the best of law student blogging, you've probably noticed De Novo. As a group blog, De Novo is eclectic—a law blog that showcases a wonderful mix of law students, many of whom have established themselves as outstanding bloggers on their own blogs.

We're quite pleased Blawg Review #46 is being hosted at De Novo by none other than Sean Sirrine, who presented Blawg Review #16 at Objective Justice.

So, we asked Sean Sirrine if he'd give us an introduction to next week's host blawg. And this is what he wants us to look forward to:
De Novo is the premier law student blog that has really gotten law students out of their stuffy nooks and back in the real world. De Novo isn't a place to post legal news items, political snobbery or other non-serious legal topics. (Don't worry it is still one of the best reads in the blogosphere.) I won't name names, but many prominent judges, law professors, and any serious law school blogger read it all the time.

Professor Berman at Sentencing Law and Policy had this to say about De Novo: (discussing a question from 3LEpiphany who is famous for being the first law student to earn credits from blogging) "he also thoughtfully asks whether law student blogs will come to 'achieve greater respectability, and contribute something of value to legal scholarship.' (By my lights, many law student blogs such as Crescat and De Novo and even BTQ already do.)"

Two of the four bloggers that started up De Novo have gone on to fame, but so far nobody is claiming fortune. These are names that are well-known around the blawgosphere: Jeremy Blachman of Anonymous Lawyer fame went on to receive book deals after he was outed and, so far, hasn't had to take the bar. Chris Geidner went on to fame on his prestigious Law Dork which ran away with the 2005 Weblog Award for best law blog. (Plus, he's just a neat guy that generously offered me his seat on De Novo.)

Remaining on the blog as editor-and chief is the deeply mysterious PG who attends Columbia Law and refuses to give anyone her name. (She was probably at the Federalist Society Student Symposium this weekend — she'd be the woman in the back shaking her head.)

Wings and Vodka is a current member of the panel, (although he writes less than me there, which is saying something), and is well-known for his Buffalo Wings and Vodka for which he's considered one of the funniest law students in the blogiverse.

Armen is a studly blogger from U.C. Berkeley over at Nuts and Bolts—an excellent writer that you're likely to see wearing black robes in the future.

Ruth is a what law schools around the country would call an anomaly. Somehow, she manages to be snarky and serious at the same time. If you ever want to know how she is feeling today check her out at Amicus Curiae.

Then of course, there's me, Sean Sirrine, who will be hosting Blawg Review #46 at De Novo. Posting so much over at Objective Justice, lately, I haven't had as much time to play with my friends at De Novo, so I'm really pleased to have this opportunity to host Blawg Review on our group blawg. It's gonna be fun.
Obviously, Blawg Review is in good hands with Sean Sirrine taking on the hosting duties this week, putting together the best of the recent law blog posts at blog De Novo. Lawyers, law students, and law profs can get their own favorite blawg posts reviewed by sending in submissions and recommendations using the easy submission form. Be there.

What's Perfect Client Service?

Meet Patrick Lamb, who's hosting the upcoming Blawg Review #45 at his award-winning law blog, In Search of Perfect Client Service.

"One of the really cool things about blogging is developing an electronic relationship with someone and then finally getting to meet them," says Pat Lamb in a recent post on his personal blog. So, if you happen to be one of those who have yet to meet this exceptional lawyer blogger, this might be a good time to check out his weblog and see for yourself why so many others consider him a must-read law blogger.

Beyond his law practice areas, Patrick Lamb is committed to exceptional client service, and has written and spoken on client service issues including budgeting, alternative billing, and general service issues—topics regularly discussed on his personal blog, appropriately titled In Search of Perfect Client Service.

After reading even a few of his recent posts, you'll probably want to share Patrick Lamb's exceptional law blog with your own blog readers, and might even add his link to your blogroll. You'll be doing your clients and readers a great service by linking his law blog to your own, I'm sure you'll agree.

And please take a look through your recent blog posts, as well, and see if there's an interesting post you'd like to share with Patrick Lamb's readers who might not be familiar with your blog, yet.

If you'd like to have one of your blog posts included in the next issue of Blawg Review, follow the easy submission guidelines where we've got a link to a convenient submission form. Or maybe you've read something really good on another law blog that ought to be included in Blawg Review #45 and would like to help Patrick with his presentation.

You can help out by submitting someone else's excellent law blog post, as your recommendation. I'm sure Pat would really appreciate your help in the preparation of next week's Blawg Review, as would the rest of us who look forward to seeing the best recent law blog posts presented each Monday morning in an extraordinary way to start the week right.

Perfect client service? We're not quite there yet, but we're working on it with Patrick J. Lamb as our guide.

Blog Conference for Lawyers

Dennis Crouch, of Patently-O: Patent Law Blog, invites everyone interested in law blogs to the upcoming conference on Blog Law and Blogging for Lawyers to be held April 20–21 in San Francisco.

Dennis Crouch, an attorney at the law firm of McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff, is the co-chair of this conference, which is the first comprehensive CLE to look at blogging both as a marketing tool for attorneys and as a legal area. Cathy Kirkman of Wilson Sonsini, who is also co-chair of this blogging conference, has her own blawg, which she calls the Silicon Valley Media Law Blog.

Jennifer Collins, Content Director of, will moderate a panel of BigLaw Bloggers, Denise Howell of Reed Smith and Bag and Baggage, Bennet Koren of McGlinchey Stafford and the Hurricane Law Blog, and Greg Kopta of Davis Wright Tremaine and the Telecom Law Blog.

Kevin O'Keefe, President of LexBlog, which developed the Hurricane Law Blog, the Silicon Valley Media Law Blog, and the Telecom Law Blog, among many other excellent law blogs, will give a presentation on the nuts and bolts of law blogging.

Health Care Law Bob

Robert Coffield is hosting Blawg Review #44 and, as is our custom, we wanted to share a bit about this West Virginian lawyer and his law blog as a "preview" of his Health Care Law Blog.

Always wanting to offer more than can be gleaned from the host blawg itself, or from a lawyerly bio that you might expect to find on a law firm website, the pleasant duty falls on your editor at Blawg Review to try to get to know each of our hosts personally. Like most bloggers, we have bouts of blogger's block, the online equivalent of writer's block. So, this week, we went "behind the blog" to get to know more about Bob.

We tracked down our next host, a ways from his office in West Virginia, in Florida at an American Health Lawyers Association conference on Hospitals and Health Systems. It was a good chance to talk with Bob outside the office, and away from the blog, to find out what's on his mind these days. As expected, he had some interesting answers to some questions we'd like to ask him if we could get together. Here's what we learned.

Bob, I have to admit that I don't know a thing about Health Care Law, except what I read in law blogs, so bear with me. I read this week on the Health Law Prof Blog that a judge was saying recently that Medicare regulations are "complex, confusing and arguably incoherent at times" so I'm not sure where to begin...
Whenever I attend an AHLA CLE event I'm struck by the breadth and depth of expertise required to practice in the health care field. Over the last couple of days I've had the chance to hear some of the leading experts in a variety of regulatory health law topics. When I attend conferences like this I'm always struck by just how complex our world has become.
How does your law blog help you manage that complexity?
One of the unexpected consequences of starting to blog about my practice area was the ability to maintain an archive of links/thoughts on various federal and state regulatory and case law impacting my clients. I often post links to federal/state regulations that I come across as I am doing work for a particular client.
So, blogging is another technology to help you organize information relevant to your practice, rather than an exercise in personal publishing or punditry?
On numerous occasions I have had other clients ask about the same issue/regulation and I can quickly use my blog to locate the regulation, refresh what I might need to know about the regulation, advise the client or send them a link with information.
It's about using technology like blogging to serve clients better...
I've always had an interest in technology and more importantly the proper use of technology to make life, work, etc. more efficient. Many people out there use technology but I think few really use the full potential of the hardware and software that they have before them. I'm always preaching—whether to our firm IT committee, other lawyers or staff—we have to improve on how we use the software and current technology in front of us.
I guess it's a lot for some lawyers to keep up with technology, while managing a traditional legal practise.
The pace of change of technology is astounding to me. Back in 1984 when I graduated from high school I couldn't have imagined in my wildest dreams where we would be 20 years later. I was working on an Apple IIe in those days with 128kb of ram. I left for college with a manual typewriter (probably the last generation to do so). Mid way through my first semester at Bethany College I was using the mainframe to write my papers and shelved my manual typewriter. By the end of college I was working on the new macs that hit campus as a part of a pilot project by an alum of Bethany who worked at Apple—the pilot was named "MacBeth".
Heh, and now it's Blawg Review #43 with a Shakespearean theme...
Anyway, after taking a few years off, I went to law school with an upgraded Mac and started to use Boolean search for the first time via Westlaw and Lexis. I credit this early search training as the reason that many younger attorneys are so good at using today's search engines. One memory that sticks in my mind from the College of Law at WVU is seeing a pile of old electric typewriters piled in a corner of a room that were moved to make way for a new computer Westlaw lab. It was like a bunch of rotting dinosaurs in the corner. Next it was 1994 (second year of practice) when I watched as older lawyers and legal secretaries start using a "mouse" for the first time as everyone moved away from DOS. Having used a mouse for years as a Mac user—it was an interesting transition to watch. Next it was email and the Internet explosion. I recall AOL when it was black and white text based with no graphics. I signed on when they were touting we just passed the 50,000 user mark. Next it was listserves and now blogging.
What got you into blogging, yourself?
As I reflect on what first attracted me to start blogging back in July 2004—I can't really recall what got me started. I suspect I read something about starting your own blog and gave Blogger a whirl. I've enjoyed the contacts and world that I have found through the blogging network—it certainly has helped to allow me to stay up-to-date on a variety of topics.
I notice that when you first set up your law blog you were back and forth deciding whether to use the title Health Care Law Blog, or Blawg. What do you think about the head cases around here debating neologisms like that?
Recently I heard a new term used to refer to Robert Scoble as an "edge case". I really like the term and think that most of those who regularly read and contribute to Blawg Review are probably "edge cases" in their own respective fields. We all find ourselves educating others about the value and benefits of efficient use of technology—blogs and RSS are just the latest in a long list of these edge developments.
That's certaily one of the enjoyable aspects of Blawg Review for me—keeping in touch with lawyers at the leading edge of their respective areas of the law. For you, it's Health Care Law. How so?
My family has been in West Virginia since the mid 1700s. Health care runs in my bloodline. I had a grandfather and father who were both "country doctors" caring for families from birth to death. They not only knew their patient, but their parents, grandparents, brothers/sisters, uncles/aunts and cousins. They practiced true continuity of care—something you don't see in today's highly specialized and often disconnected health care system.
Or in the practise of law, it seems. Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts with us. We're really looking forward to your presentation of the best recent law blog posts in your Blawg Review #44. And, hey, don't get too stressed over themes, Bob. Content is king, and I'm sure you'll have lots of great submissions and recommendations to share with us this week.

Online Guide to Mediation

Diane Levin is hosting Blawg Review #43 at her alternative dispute resolution weblog.

Online Guide to Mediation, the blog at Mediation News Online, passed a milestone recently and, in her personable style, Diane Levin celebrated this special occasion by thanking those who have contributed to her success.
Anniversaries are often a time for retrospection. In thinking back over the past 12 months of blogging, what comes to mind are those to whom a debt of gratitude is owed. First and foremost, my readers--thanks so very much for everything. Secondly, and just as important, people who offered encouragement, sage advice, friendship, or a helping hand along the way (and the occasional and well-timed kick in the pants).
Check out her excellent post, "It's My Party and I'll Blog If I Want To", where Diane thanks all those who've helped make this an exceptional business blog. Notably, to mark the occasion of this first blogiversary, Diane collects the links to her own favorite posts as well as those she calls her readers' choice. This is my pick. Which is yours?