Blawg Review

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

Kahunas v. Cojones

The latest buzz in the blogosphere is all about the gossipy new tabloid blawg, Above the Law, by David Lat of Underneath Their Robes and Wonkette fame. Nobody dishes dirt like A3G and Wonkette, so lawyers who want to stay on top of what's being said about them and their colleagues better subscribe to the Really Salacious Syndication.

Kevin O'Keefe writes, "It's going to take some big kahuna's [sic] to publish those cease and desist letters and demands for retractions. But they be some of the best posts." Excellent eggcorn.

Linguistics professor Mark Liberman, at UPenn, provides expert testimony in the case of Kahunas v. Cojones.

Blawgs: Law Practice Today

A seminal article on law-related blogs and blogging, by two of the leading law bloggers -- and Blawg Review hosts -- Jim Calloway and Tom Mighell, is featured in the current issue of Law Practice Today.
Law-related weblogs first began to hit the scene around 2002. In that year, around 75 law weblogs debuted. In contrast, 2005 saw the creation of over 500 law-related blogs, from all corners of the legal space: big-firm lawyers, solo/small firm lawyers, law professors, law students, librarians, legal technologists, paralegals -- if it involves the law, chances are someone is blogging about it. Tom has been tracking weblogs since he first began publishing Inter Alia nearly four years ago; during that time, by his count more than 1,500 law-related blogs have been created since 2002. Even more amazing is the fact that over 80 percent of those weblogs are still in business, publishing daily, weekly, and monthly commentary on virtually every legal topic imaginable.
"Blawg: Marketing Your Practice with a Weblog" is definitely one of the most comprehensive articles on blogs by a traditional legal publisher since the July/August 2005 issue of Law|Practice Magazine with the cover headline "Behind the Blogs" that picked up one of the coveted Blawg Review Awards, for best print on law blogs, for the American Bar Association. Kudos to Sarah Kellogg who wrote that feature article: "It’s Not Your Father’s Web Site: Lawyers in the Blogosphere".

Ernie the Attorney's Nawlins

When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts, a four hour HBO documentary set to debut over two nights, Aug. 21 and 22, just in time to mark the first anniversary of Katrina's landfall, is reviewed by film critic Joe Leydon in Variety and on his movingpictureblog.
Charged with profound sorrow, galvanizing outrage and defiant resolve, Spike Lee's extraordinary "When the Levees Broke: A Requiem in Four Acts" renders the worst natural disaster in U.S. history -- Hurricane Katrina's unforgiving assault on New Orleans and other Gulf Coast communities -- as a perfect storm of catastrophic weather, human error, socioeconomic inequity and bureaucratic dysfunction. The four-hour HBO documentary will debut over two nights just in time to mark the first anniversary of Katrina's landfall. Unfortunately, as Lee and his many interviewees repeatedly emphasize, rebuilding and recovery in the Crescent City have only just begun.
Acts I and II premiere tonight, August 21st, followed by Acts III and IV on Tuesday, August 22nd. All four acts will be seen Tuesday, Aug. 29, the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina.

Blawg Review #72, hosted by Ernie the Attorney, comes to us from New Orleans on the eve of the first anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. Those who know New Orleans attorney Ernest Svenson, and are familiar with the engaging style of writing on his blog, will appreciate it's gonna be personal.

Snakes on a Blawg

Law blog readers anxiously awaiting Blawg Review #71 at QuizLaw can get a quick fix today at Evan Schaeffer's Legal Underground, where his Weekly Law School Roundup #32 provides reading suggestions for those first few weeks of law school when it's so important to make sure your classroom WiFi is configured correctly.

In this WLSR, Evan Schaeffer points his readers to Dave Gulbransen's "Back to School" Blawg Review #70, which creatively demonstrates what a tech savvy law student with mad sKILLz can do while getting a law degree in his spare time. w00t!

Don't let some law professor who doesn't do e-mail tell you that at law school you won't have time to blog--or to appear on CNN to discuss how famous your blog is.

Georgetown University Law Student Brian Finkelstein gets full marks for spending his last semester at law school creating Snakes on a Blog.

Brian's fansite for the Samuel L. Jackson terror flick, Snakes on a Plane, "garnered" him an invitation to the premiere screening of the film on August 17th at Mann's Chinese Theater in Los Angeles. Finkelstein might get Oscar's nod for the best blog about a film about snakes on a plane.

The following parody video was submitted anonymously as an example of Aussie law student humour, which is not appropriate to play with loud speakers at work or in class because of the motherf**kin language.

You were warned not to play this in class!

What's Not To Get?

"Maybe I just don't get it," wrote Kevin O'Keefe, President and founder of LexBlog Inc., concerning Blawgr, the new website that is coming soon for the community of law bloggers.
And that made me think about what it is that people don’t get. And I realised that when I speak to people as peculiar as I am, we often refer to others as “She gets it” and “He doesn’t get it”.

Get what?

This it, that people get or not-get, this it exists in many spheres. It is why people equate opensource with freeware and with security lapses; it is why people equate blogs with flaming; it is why people equate social software with being communist or pinko; it is why people equate downloads and uploads with piracy; it is why people equate work with not-fun.

So what does it take to Get It? To be one of the Got Its?

I think you need to believe you don’t have all the answers. You need to believe you could be wrong. You need to believe that others could help you be right. That others could help you learn. That there is power in community. That people can be unselfish. That you can trust people. That it’s OK to be wrong, provided you learn. That relationships matter. That covenant is good. That Doing the Right Thing is something to strive for. That it’s OK to be vulnerable, to express opinions, to share. That you don’t have to have an axe to grind in order to live. That you can Pay It Forward. That not everyone seeks to monetise each and every action.

That you need to believe in humanity and in humility.

The people who don’t get it can’t understand altruism, think every gift horse is a toothless Trojan. Can’t understand openness and sharing and community. Can’t understand trust. The people who don’t get it live in this weird bondage of isolation and distrust. I couldn’t do it. Just couldn’t.
The kernel for this snowball was a conversation over dinner when someone asked JP Rangaswami how he dealt with all the flames against his blog. I should be so articulate.

Law Librarians Blog

Connie Crosby, law library manager and info diva, recently hosted the Carnival of the Infosciences #49 with a colorful theme inspired by the recent Caribana carnival in Toronto.

Connie notes the influence of our carnival of law bloggers on her creative blog carnival presentation.
This themed post was inspired by Blawg Review, the carnival of law bloggers, notably Blawg Review #35 wherein attorney Colin Samuels placed me in the first circle of Hell, Limbo, in a marvelous Dante's Inferno-inspired post over at Infamy or Praise. That was the first time I had seen a carnival and obviously it left an impression!
Likewise, we're impressed, too. And we look forward to Connie Crosby hosting Blawg Review someday on her eponymous blog.

For all there is to know about law librarians who blog, and then some, see "The State of the Law Library Blogosphere" by Bonnie Shucha, Head of Reference, University of Wisconsin Law Library.

AmLaw 100 Firm Blogs

In 2006, Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati ranked 54th on the American Lawyer's AmLaw 100 rankings of U.S. firms.

On the Silicon Valley Media Law blog, lawyer Cathy Kirkman, of Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, has an interesting post about a recent article on lawyer blogging in which she was quoted. Her point in the article was that if business people are reading blogs for business intelligence, shouldn't lawyers be tapped in as well, at least as readers to know what's going on, but also potentially as contributors to add value to the conversation.

Wilson Sonsini's Cathy Kirkman points to an interesting quote in the article from veteran blogger and co-author of the Cluetrain Manifesto, Doc Searls:
Lawyers are ahead of most professions because they're trained to write and they're trained to think out loud, which is a lot of what blogging is about.
Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP is ranked this year at 77th among all law firms in the U.S. (up from 83rd last year) by the American Lawyer, with more than 480 attorneys in nine offices located throughout California and in New York and Washington, D.C.

Sheppard Mullin is one of the leading AmLaw 100 firms that has added law blogs to its website and client communications, with these weblogs focused on the principal interests of their most important clients:Sheppard Mullin's clients include 55 of the Fortune 100 companies.

Previewing a feature in the September issue of Law Technology News, Larry Bodine's Professional Services Marketing Blog notes:
It’s time to examine your client base and identify the industries in which the firm has experience (not the strong practice groups). Clients, even the GC, see themselves as a member of an industry, not a customer of a practice group. Industry experience is one of the first things clients look for on a law firm Web site.

Many law firms make the mistake of "marketing their organization," that is, using their internal administrative structure to shape their marketing and structure their Web sites. This is a mistake. On the other hand, firms that market themselves as industry experts are "organizing around the market," and presenting themselves in the way clients buy.
"It’s time to identify the firm’s high-margin, most-profitable practices and start blogs about them," says Larry Bodine. The leading law firms are already distinguishing themselves from the followers, as seen by clients.

Back to School Special

Click on Banner Ad for Blawg Review #70

Infamy or Praise

Every week, another new host gets a peek behind the curtain of this collaborative Blawg Review project to see firsthand how these creative presentations are put together. Are you getting any good submissions and recommendations for Blawg Review #70, Dave!?

Those who hosted last year remember that Evan Schaeffer would often recommend a half dozen or so of the best posts he'd come across in the previous week. And then Mike Cernovich also became one of the regular contributors to Blawg Review, adding a few more great recommendations every week. It was a lot of work, for not a lot of recognition, and we want to let them know that we appreciate the heavy lifting these guys did behind the scenes to get this project rolling. Not to mention Kevin Heller, who started this ball rolling.

This editor tries to get a few good ones in each week, too. But these past several months, the mantle of Regular Contributor has been on the sturdy shoulders of Colin Samuels, who otherwise would be quietly blogging away at his own humble law blog, Infamy or Praise.

You may have noticed, as we did, that Colin Samuels recently published a very thoughtful essay, Humanizing the Profession, about lawyers who blog. For a guy who doesn't post very often -- unless he's got a dozen other anonymous blogs we don't credit him for -- he knows a lot about blawgs.

Colin is surely the most selfless blogger out there. Those who have hosted Blawg Review this year know what I mean. Every week he makes at least ten outstanding recommendations that often result in other bloggers unexpectedly reading about their law blogs linked in Blawg Review on a Monday morning. Each week we're treated to another surprisingly excellent new issue of Blawg Review, in good measure thanks to his extraordinary efforts to support this project.

And it's still rather humbling, in my view, after 69 different issues of Blawg Review to look back at last year's Blawg Review of the Year by Colin Samuels. Hell, that's still an amazing piece of work, isn't it?

Blawgr Coming Soon

Blawgr is a website where everyone interested in law can freely and easily publish a law blog of their own, and engage in conversations, discussions, and debate with members of the legal community.

Experienced law bloggers will appreciate that Blawgr is a very robust platform with many features they may have dreamed about to create a sense of community with blog readership using most other standalone weblog programs, like Blogger, Typepad, and Wordpress. Blog software typically developed as a personal publishing tool, with little or no regard for any sense of community -- more of a vanity press than a coffee house on a university campus. Blawgr is different.

Blawgr betaRight now, we're beta testing the site in development, and it's lookin' good. With any luck, we should be ready to blow the doors off real soon. "Who's we?" you might ask. Just a few tech-savvy law bloggers, like Kevin Heller, Steve Nipper, Matt Buchanan and Doug Sorocco. And this editor has signed on, as well, to help with herding cats.

I'm havin' fun working with this group of innovators and rethinkers, and we're looking forward to inviting all who have made Blawg Review such a success to join with us in this new and exciting project for law bloggers. You'll be the first invited.

Who died and made you God?

That's the question Law Professor Glenn Reynolds was asking on Instapundit five years ago.

Happy Bloggiversary.

Weekly Law School Roundup

Everyone interested in the weird, wild and wonderful blogs of law students should check out the Weekly Law School Roundup.

Alternating between Evan Schaeffer's Legal Underground and divine angst, the Weekly Law School Roundup is another bright idea of Evan Schaeffer, who is admired by law bloggers everywhere and followed by many law students to whom he is the putative blawgfather.

This week it's The Red-Hot-Chili-Peppers Edition, Part II, in which Evan highlights a number of memorable posts by law students (or recent law school grads), while simultaneously creating another playlist of songs by the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

This editor checks out the Weekly Law School Roundup every Sunday -- religiously -- and updates a convenient link to the current edition in the sidebar of Blawg Review under Blog Carnivals each week so our readers can easily find the latest, greatest, collection of law student blogs.

Don't forget Blawg Review also includes some of the best of the recent posts from law student blogs, as selected by our hosts, who sometimes are law students or recent law school grads like the current host, Jeremy Blachman, who you know is now a not-so-Anonymous Lawyer.

Blawg Review #69 is up next on Unlearned Hand by a 3L rising, whom some of you might already know. And Blawg Review #70 will be hosted by a repeat offender at Preaching to the Perverted.

We're always looking for the best law student bloggers to host upcoming issues of Blawg Review -- and now everyone knows where we find them -- on the Weekly Law School Roundup.

What's with this?

This post has been redacted by the editor, who regrets the brouhaha.