Blawg Review

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

The Blogging Scholarship

Is Your Blog Worthy of a $10,000 Scholarship? Do you maintain a weblog and attend college? Would you like $10,000 to help pay for books, tuition, or other living costs? If so, read this.

If such scholarships had been available back in the early days of blogging, Jeremy Blachman, whose Anonymous Lawyer blog earned him a book deal while he was still a law student, could have been a contender. And so might Ian Best, who earned recognition and a law school course credit for his Taxonomy of Legal Blogs at 3L Epiphany. Today's best law blogs by students are found in the Weekly Law School Roundup.

Should scholarships be offered for writing law blogs? Responding to the question, "What is the single best idea for reforming legal education you would offer to Erwin Chemerinsky as he builds the law school at UC-Irvine?", Professor Gordon Smith proffered this horrible idea: "Do not create a legal writing program, moot court competitions, student-edited law reviews, clinics, or any other co-curricular offerings." On the contrary, if anyone had asked this writer, I'd have recommended that the Donald Bren School of Law be the first law school to offer a scholarship for exemplary legal blogging. Now, wouldn't that cause a buzz in the blawgosphere and earn kudos for the new law school?

Runaway Jury Review

In what might be the finest example of presenting Blawg Review creatively to reflect the skills of the host in a specialized area of the law, trial lawyer and jury consultant Anne Reed at Deliberations organizes some of the best recent law blogs in Blawg Review #127 under headings -- the "17 Best Tips For Voir Dire" edition. Here's just one:
16. Make a good impression

Jurors don't wake up in the morning full of admiration for lawyers. Barry Barnett of Blawgletter came back from a seminar this week and wrote: "Twenty-first century jurors start out seeing you not as a truth-telling seeker of justice but as a money-making manipulator of the justice system. You must convince them otherwise."

How do you do it?
Check out Blawg Review #127. We couldn't be more impressed with this week's presentation, and the carefully selected bloggers our host, Anne Reed, has empanelled in her Blawg Review. Outstanding!

A Lawyer Walks Into A Bar

Blawg Review #100, which reviewed the law blogs that hosted the first one hundred issues of this publication, pointed us to a new documentary, A Lawyer Walks Into A Bar ... "a lurid tale of lawyers and lawsuits and America's fascination with both."

If, like me, you didn't get to see the film at the Newport Beach Film Festival, you can now watch it on DVD. I will, for sure.

Click here to see the trailer and clips from the film.

Always choose the cigar!

"I've been burned out from blogging for a while now, so I'm not sure if I will continue blogging, either. It's been three-and-a-half years, and I feel like I've talked about everything interesting to talk about. So we'll see what happens," said Mike Cernovich recently at Crime & Federalism.

Yes, believe it or not, it was almost three years ago that Cernovich, then blogging under the pseudonym Federalist No. 84, wrote as a guest on Evan Schaeffer's Legal Underground a seminal blog post titled: Turning a Blog Into Your Blawg: Fourteen Steps to Finding Your Voice in the Blawgosphere. Evan Schaeffer noted that this post, and an article he was working on with Mike Cernovich, led Evan to ask himself, "Why do I have a weblog—or more specifically, three weblogs?"

Cigar aficionado Mike Cernovich now adds:
"I still enjoy blogging, I just don't enjoy blogging as much about the law as I used to. The law is still interesting, but so are many other subjects. I fell into the "law rut." That's a place where only the law seems interesting. After making a conscious effort to devote more of my free time to thinking about non-legal subjects, I realized how this "one-dimensional intellectual life" doesn't suit me.

"So as I noted yesterday, I'll still blog - just elsewhere, since it doesn't seem right to blog about neither "crime" nor "federalism" at a blog entitled Crime and Federalism. Until I find a suitable spot to blog, I'll keep posting some stuff here. Just note that it won't be what you are used to..."

"I'll be starting a new blog elsewhere. It will be more of a "personal blog/things in my head" type of blog - nothing exciting. It won't have as much to do about law as this one did. Indeed, it will probably have very little to do with law. I could just resume blogging here, but that would seem somewhat deceitful. Until then, best wishes."
Best wishes to you, too, Mike. Many thanks for your help with this community of law bloggers in the early days, and for hosting on Memorial Day, 2005, Blawg Review #8. And, as you consider your next adventure in the blogosphere, remember what Groucho Marx said: "Given the choice between a woman and a cigar, I will always choose the cigar."

The Booty Ye Deserve!

This week's Blawg Review #126 links to alternative billing and hourly-billing posts by David Giacalone -- which reminds me -- today is talk like a pirate day!

Lawyers, however you choose to bill for your legal services, remember to get ye the booty ye deserve!

Small Business Trends Legal

Blawg Review #126 is introduced by former GC Anita Campbell, editor of Small Business Trends, as follows:
"Why is a business site hosting a law blog roundup?

I’ve expressed my opinion before that “businesspeople can be better at business by learning more about the law. And lawyers can benefit from knowing more about business. Armed with knowledge, we are all better off.”
Check out this extraordinary Blawg Review, organized under these topical headings:
Business opportunities and the legal implications – explore the legal pitfalls and benefits of growing your business

Lawyers and the clients who hire them – insights into better relationships between lawyers and business people, including their fee arrangements

Employers and employment legal issues – all too often the relations between employers-employees have legal implications

Technology and management practices — for lawyers and businesspeople who want to manage their law firms and businesses better

Marketing — for lawyers and with lessons for businesspeople, too
Click here to see whose law blogs are featured in this week's issue of Blawg Review, and follow the links to some of the best law blog posts of interest to business blog readers.

She Was Hot

Ruthie does Utah and WAC?

Ain't Too Proud To Beg

We need your help to make Blawg Review #126, hosted next by Anita Campbell at Small Business Trends, as good as her last presentation, Blawg Review #40. This is a great opportunity for lawyers to get their best blawgs read by savvy business blog readers.

So, please take a few minutes this week to send Anita Campbell, a former GC, your best law blog post, or recommend the writing of another law blogger that might be interesting to readers of one of the most popular business blogs. "Do good - for society, yourself, and the image of our legal profession," as Kevin O'Keefe, host of this week's Blawg Review #125, would say.

Simply follow these Submission Guidelines, and we'll see you all next week at Small Business Trends. Summer's over, and it's back to work at Blawg Review.

Blogging Gets Me Work

The anonymous editor at Blawg Review received this email:

I am Barr.SHANE M BOLTON. I am reaching you to handle an investment portfolio. I am reaching you to assist in repatriating the funds and property left behind by my late client before it will be confiscated by government and declared unserviceable by the bank where the huge deposits were lodged.

He died intestate and every attempt to trace any member of his family has proved abortive and unsuccessful.

Do note that who you are does not matter and you will be better informed when I hear from you.

I want you to respond by sending:

1. Your full names
2. Tel & fax numbers
3. Complete Address

Send the above information and I will furnish you with more information about the estate and process of transfer to you.

Yours Faithfully,

Dakar Senegal
Anyhoo, this isn't really my area of expertise, so I don't think I'll be sending Mr. Bolton my full names, after all.

9/11 Remembered

Today is a day of remembrance of September 11, 2001 and, as we pause to remember that day, we take a moment to reflect on blog posts about 9/11 by Althouse, Ambrogi, Greenfield, and Giacalone.

For those curious enough to click on the image at the top of this post, there's an inspirational Tribute in Light 3D Panorama photograph, as an interactive World Trade Center memorial. Words cannot do justice.

If you read other posts on law blogs remembering 9/11 that are especially noteworthy, please send the Editor of Blawg Review an email with a link that can be added here as this remembrance is updated throughout the day.

Real Lawyers Review

Real Lawyers Have Blogs, by leading law blogger Kevin O'Keefe of LexBlog, hosts this week's Blawg Review #125.

In a marked departure from the traditional blog carnival format, Kevin takes a pass on the submissions and recommendations of the real lawyers who have blogs to provide a look into the minds of non-legal bloggers and reformed lawyers where he finds guidance for those in the legal profession who want to learn how to blog better. Here's a snippet, to which this editor has added some links to examples from real lawyers who have blogs:
A former attorney, Brian Clark now works as an Internet marketing strategist and content developer. Aside from his consulting work, Brian runs Copyblogger, providing tips for successful online marketing.

To be a successful lawyer, the art of persuasion is a necessary trait. Why limit that too the courtroom? In his 5 Immutable Laws of Persuasive Blogging, Brian gives tips for gaining influence in the blogosphere.

  1. The Law of Value: Your blog must provide value to the reader by addressing a problem, concern, desire, or need that the reader already has. Fresh, original content is critical.

    See this post, for example: "Conflict Avoidance: Social Obligations, Larry David and Shame" by Victoria Pynchon at Settle It Now.

  2. The Law of Headlines and Hooks: Your post titles must stand out in a crowded, noisy blogosphere, and you must quickly communicate the value of reading further with your opening.

    "Iowa's Toughest Attorney Seeks Match" shouts the headline of Rush Nigut's latest post at Rush On Business.

  3. The Law of “How To": People don’t want to know “what” you can do, they want to know “how” it’s done. If you think you’re giving away too much information, you’re on the right track.

    Steven Eversole, at the Alabama DUI & Criminal Defense Law Blog, has this advice how to respond if you're getting arrested on a DUI in Alabama.

  4. The Law of the List: Love them or hate them, informational posts presented in list format are easily digestible, and allow for an efficient transfer of your value proposition to the reader.

  5. Again from Victoria Pynchon, this time writing at the IP ADR Blog, "On the Internet, Nobody Knows You're a Dog: Negotiating the Settlement of Your IP Dispute".

  6. The Law of the Story: Stories are the most persuasive blogging element of all, as they allow you to present a problem, the solution, and the results, all while the connotation of the story allows readers to sell themselves on what you have to offer.

    Take this pitch by Arnie Herz at Legal Sanity, who titles his latest post "what baseball stadiums can teach law firms about client experience management".
With the success of Blawg Review over the past one hundred and twenty-five issues, I'm often asked if I'd do anything differently if I were starting this project today. And you know what? It would have been better, perhaps, if I'd known Kevin O'Keefe then and had been able to excite the folks at LexBlog about getting involved with the design of this blog and marketing the project. They do exceptional work, and would be a wise choice for any lawyer or law firm thinking seriously about publishing a weblog. That said, I'd probably want to have done a better job than I have, apparently, communicating what Blawg Review is all about.

A review of who's who in the LexBlogosphere indicates the following excellent examples of Blawg Review hosted on law blogs developed by LexBlog.

For example, Blawg Review #6 by David Swanner at the South Carolina Trial Law Blog. This week, Swanner reviews the iPod iTouch, Apple's iPhone without the phone, and explains his decision to go with the Toshiba R500 Laptop.

And see also, Blawg Review #108 by Arnie Herz at Legal Sanity.

Most recently, Blawg Review #117 was hosted by Jamie Spencer at Austin Criminal Defense Lawyer. This week, Jamie has an interesting post about Caffeine vs. Marijuana.

Upcoming issues of Blawg Review are scheduled to be hosted at these fine LexBlog law blogs:

We're especially looking forward to the St. Patrick's Day issue, when Kevin will attempt live-blogging Blawg Review from a pub somewhere.

The Torture Memos

More important than pretty much anything usually included in the weekly Blawg Review, "would be what Jack Goldsmith has to say about the 'Torture Memos' and the manner in which the Administration went about matters such as surveillance and interrogation."

Longtime followers of Blawg Review will remember Marty Schwimmer's extraordinary Blawg Review #60, where he asked the important question, "Is this Administration acting lawfully?"

Thanks to Marty for taking his time and space on The Trademark Blog to point us to this article by Jeffrey Rosen in the New York Times.

And thanks for the photo link from added by a commenter to the post at The Faculty Blog concerning this important matter, as well.

Labor Day Special

This holiday weekend special Blawg Review #124, by hard-working employment lawyer George Lenard, is a Labor Day parade of law bloggers celebrating their best work. George's presentation of the best recent law blog articles is yeoman's work for our enjoyment and edification on this special day honoring workers everywhere.
Unless we’re hard-core unionists, we tend not to think much about its original meaning. That’s a shame. Its original purpose of commemorating the role of the ordinary worker in the American economy, as well as U.S. labor history, is a worthy one.

So the theme for this week’s Blawg Review is American labor history. Each history section heading links to background material (often wikipedia.) (The editor has reminded me that Labor Day is celebrated in other countries, including Canada (with the Brit. spelling, Labour Day, of course).
Blawg Review #124 includes a quip by an anonymous member of the group of federal law clerks and appellate lawyers who write Appellate Law & Practice: "If you are not working on law this weekend, you are not a real lawyer and you hate America. Have a happy Labor Day."