Thursday, May 12, 2005

BLAWGS BECOME AN INCREASINGLY POPULAR WAY FOR THE LEGAL COMMUNITY TO SHARE INFORMATION AND IDEAS

Legal blogs are increasing in popularity While the subject may be ever so slightly off-topic for this ADR-related blog, I hope that I may be excused for blogging today about law blogs, given that the profession of origin for so many of us in the ADR field is the law and that so much of our work is conducted within the shadow of the courthouse.

Everyone these days, it seems, is blogging. Lawyers, too, have caught on, and legal blogs or "blawgs", as they're better known, have emerged as a new genre in the blogosphere and an increasingly popular phenomenon in the legal world.

To explore the range of blawgs that are out there, stop by Blawg.org, a fully searchable online catalog of law blogs which as of today's posting lists 875 links in 164 different categories (at present there are only two ADR-related blogs listed in its database, one of them being yours truly, but that’s bound to change as blogging continues to catch on). Also be sure to visit the Law Dawg Blawg, created by the law librarians of Southern Illinois University School of Law, which offers useful advice on "Finding Blawgs on Any Legal Topic".

Some blawgs of note are:

Estate Legacy Vaults is authored by Jill Fallon, a “lawyer, entrepreneur, widow, and passionate communicator”. Although her goal is “helping people take care of the business of their lives more easily and securely and by so doing enlarge their legacies and keep their affairs in order for their families”, her blog's content is in fact far more eclectic and broad-ranging than this mission statement would suggest. “Passionate communicator” is right on the money—I would add “articulate, bright, and insightful” to that description. Her wit and powers of observation are acute--this blog is very much worth reading. (I therefore feel highly honored that she included Online Guide to Mediation at the top of a list of 21 new blogs in a May 2 posting captioned “More Lawyers Blogging”.)

Robert Ambrogi’s Lawsites, which is authored and maintained by Boston-area attorney, journalist, and writer Bob Ambrogi, “track[s] new and intriguing web sites for the legal profession.” His other blog, Media Law, offers interesting news and information as well. In addition, Bob, who writes prolifically in a wide range of media, has published a book, The Essential Guide To The Best (and Worst) Legal Sites On The Web.

Blawg Review does what it name suggests—provides reviews of (as well as plenty of links to) law blogs. It even provides opportunities for legal bloggers to host “peer-reviewed carnivals for law blogs” as a means of gaining greater exposure and increasing visibility in the blawgosphere.

Ernie the Attorney, like Diogenes with his lamp, is “searching for truth and justice (in an unjust world)”. He also is the author of one of the most frequently visited law blogs around. He writes well and with originality, posts frequently, and provides loads of links.

Technolawyer Blog describes itself as an “amalgam of pithy commentary, industry news, and other helpful information” on legal technology and practice management information.

Law Meme, founded in 2001 by faculty and students at Yale University Law School, is probably one of the oldest, continuously published blawgs. Its postings focus upon the relationship between technology and law and the influence that each brings to bear on the other.

For attorneys interested in becoming part of the blog movement, LexBlog, a web-based service founded by former trial lawyer Kevin O’Keefe (who of course has his own blog, “Real Lawyers Have Blogs”), offers blog hosting packages and solutions to help attorneys create a powerful web presence. Kevin’s own blog is a treasure trove of information for both novice and experienced bloggers, which ranges from “Law blog basics” to “Law blog content” to “Law Firm Internet Marketing”.