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December 02, 2008

A List of Great Blogs I Read - Take the Challenge

There are a phenomenal number of great blogs out there and the idea there should be a top 100 somehow strikes me as odd.  Don't get me a wrong.  I am flattered once, again, to have been selected to be in the ABA Top 100, maybe more so this year than last because in 2008 the ABA's blog directory swelled to over 2000 blogs.  This year they also listed their criteria for selection which is pretty stringent.  So, I'd be dishonest if I said I wasn't flattered. But as my friend, Anne Reed says, 'it is at best a list of recommendations' to guide you through the thousands of legal blogs out there.

But there is an important point that is lost when these types of 'contests' are run.  Everyone blogs for a different reason.  Most lawyers do so as an extension of their marketing strategy to deliver education to the general public and they do it very well specifically for their intended audience.  And then there are some outstanding blogs where you know that even if they are doing it as part of their marketing strategy, they simply love blogging and you are guaranteed a great read, a newsworthy topic with a perspective you never expected and links to other blogs you would never have found on your own. Day after day they deliver incredible content with startling perceptions which really make you think.  And whether two or two thousand, their readers are devout for good reason.

Regardless the motivation or passion, if they are reaching their intended audience with quality information they have succeeded and this is a successful blog by any standard.  But they won't necessarily be noted by the ABA 100 so you have to look for another list of 'recommendations'. 

As a society we love top ten lists and 'the best of' lists and rankings but in so many ways they draw you away from discovering the hidden jewels by guiding your judgment.  So, that being said I thought I would highlight for you a few blogs I read religiously, some on the ABA 100 and others which may have escaped their notice (And this is by no means an exhaustive list...I read 100's of blogs).

Jordan Furlong - Law21  His writing and his perceptions in the legal arena make me devour every syllable.

Chuck Newton - Third Wave Blog  I have been a fan of his homespun, common sense, practical approach to life and lawyering since I discovered his great blog more than two years ago.

Marc Randazza - The Legal Satyricon  Irreverent, intelligent, exercises his First Amendment rights sometimes to its X-rated fullest and pulls no punches so be warned.

Victoria Pynchon - Settle It Now Negotiation Blog  Brilliant writer, talented mediator, posts infused with warmth and intelligence and passion.

Enrico Schaefer - The Greatest American Lawyer  He has been dispensing valuable insights on innovation in the legal world for ages, first when wearing the cape of The Greatest American Lawyer and now unmasked but under the ideal of The Greatest American Lawyer.

Grants Griffths - Home Office Lawyer, Home Office Warrior and Blog for Profit Over the years Grant has spent literally hundreds of hours teaching lawyers about the power of blogging.

A Public Defender - Known as Gideon, he gives you the inside look at a public defender's world and one of the few who do it extremely well.

PTLawMom - Again, anonymous, she talks about being a mom, becoming a lawyer, with intimate and sometimes painful honesty

Carolyn Elefant - MyShingle  Her analysis of solo and small firm practice is always fresh, timely and motivating and has been so without fail for more than six years.

Stephanie West Allen - Idealawg I have probably found more jewels on and linked to in her site over the past two years then any other internet treasure chest out there.  Where she finds the time to share so much is beyond me.

Dawn Elaine Bowie - Maryland Father's Rights  A gifted writer who focuses on Father's Rights in the dissolution process.  One of the few I know of with great perspective on father's and their right to love and raise their children regardless of divorce.

This is just a very small sampling of the blogs I read.  I challenge all of you to create a list of recommendations of those blogs you believe others should learn about and publicize on your own blog.  Let's take the idea behind the ABA 100 and expand it.  Let's make December of every year the month we introduce our readers to new blogs of note. Let's give everyone who blogs for education or love of writing and who does so with consistency and quality a pat on the back for a job well done.

(And in case you didn't see, check out our recent faculty announcements at Solo Practice University.

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Grant Griffiths

Susan -- Great list and thank you so much for including me in such a great group of blogging minds and thought leaders.

Carolyn Elefant

Thanks for the link Susan and for a great list - but I haven't made it to 6 years just yet...(my bday is next week)

Susan Cartier Liebel, Esq.

@Carolyn - it's a curse. I'm always making things older than they are :-) But great blogs, like fine wine and cheese, just keep getting better with age.

Chris Hill

As a new blogger, I will certainly look to your blog, and those on your list for ideas.



Susan, thank you so much for including my blog on this list. I read and enjoy most of them (especially Charles Newton). My blog has gotten so off track lately, it seems, but hopefully after a semester's break I will be able to return and fulfill my dream.

Marc J. Randazza

I am humbled to be on this list, and at how you've described the Legal Satyricon.

But hey! X-rated? I'm NC-17 at best/worst (depending on how you look at it)



Why thank you for the recognition. Now can you help me win the HGTV Dream Home Give-A-Way next year?

Mark Merenda

Ok, who do I need to pay off to get on this list?

Stephanie West Allen

Susan, what a nice honor! Thanks very much. To receive that mention on your fine, benefit-laden blog is a real treat.

Jordan Furlong

Susan, a great list -- many thanks for the honour of inclusion! -- and a great idea. I'll follow Victoria's example and do my own top ten list shortly.

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