As you have probably noticed, there are more blogs than there are lawyers… okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration but I think you get the point. There are, however, a lot of legal blogs out there. Many are just marketing pitches for law firms and are not very good or helpful. But, a healthy number transcend the boring, lazy, overly-dense, and “lawyer-speak” of the many. These blogs are particularly useful to in-house lawyers, especially as a starting place for legal research (and this may not be the first place that comes to mind when you are thinking about doing some research). Still, finding the “good ones” can be a challenge.
A year ago I posted my list of the Ten Best Legal Blogs of 2015, setting out a number of blogs that I read regularly and highly recommend. This year, I thought I would do something little bit different. While you should certainly check out all of the blogs on last year’s list (e.g., Presnell on Privileges is still awesome), I did not want to create a 2016 list that repeated a many of blogs from last year’s offering. Instead, I thought I’d point out some additional blogs that may also worth your time – depending on what you’re interested in.
This (very short) edition of “Ten Things” will list some more of my favorite legal blogs and the topics they cover. These are all worth you clicking on and checking out over the holiday break or the next several weeks. If you find one or two you like, be sure to subscribe to them so you get the newest editions when they come out. Here are my blog suggestions in no particular order of importance:
1. The Lawyerist (http://www.thelawyerist.com). Jam-packed with practical tips, articles, and other odds and ends with a focus on technology for lawyers, this is one blog I read virtually every day. I especially like the tips on using Microsoft Office products (Word, PowerPoint, etc.) and the latest and greatest apps for lawyers.
2. China Law Blog (www.chinalawblog.com). It’s difficult to think of a country that is both as important and as opaque to in-house lawyers than China – especially if your company does or is trying to do business there. And now that the new U.S. administration may be looking to engage China in a very “different” manner than past Presidents, having some insight and knowledge about legal issues in China will be very important. This blog discusses the practical aspects of Chinese law and how it impacts doing business there, what works and what does not, and what businesses can do to use the law to their advantage.
3. Navigator (http://www.lexology.com/navigator). While not a blog in the traditional sense, this tool – provided by Lexology.com – is a great resource for in-house lawyers. There are a good number of legal topics listed and for each topic there are detailed articles/summaries written by leading law firms around the globe describing the nuts and bolts of the law around that legal topic in their country (or by state here in the USA). For example, basic employment law for France or Germany or Texas, M&A in China, etc. The good news is that more and more topics are coming on line in the future. The even better news is that this is a free service and the firms writing the articles are top tier. If you have a legal issue in a foreign jurisdiction (or another state), Navigator is a good place to start your research.
4. The LexBlog Network (http://www.lxbn.com). What do you know – a blog about blogs! A great one-stop-shop if you’re looking for a blog on a certain topic but aren’t sure how to find it. A dozen or so legal issues are listed down one side (in addition to “front page” content). Just click on the topic of interest and you’re taken to a page with posts from numerous blogs on that topic. This site can help you find that one blog that most useful to you.
5. Alston & Bird Privacy and Data Security Blog (www.alstonprivacy.com). Another excellent source of data privacy and data security related news, information, tips, etc. The Alston team has really upped their game with this blog over the past year. If you have not done so already, the Alston privacy-related CLEs are top-notch and a very good investment of your time.
6. Attorney at Work (www.attorneyatwork.com). This blog contains work produced by a number of writers and it tends to cover ways to be more productive every day, including helpful reviews of new technology. Their motto is “One Really Good Idea Every Day for Enterprising Lawyers.” And they live up to that motto. Great monthly columns, free e-zines and survey reports, “ask the expert,” and other really helpful articles and tips.
7. Krebs on Security (https://krebsonsecurity.com). If you work in the data privacy or data security area or just want to stay on top of internet security, data breaches, virus and malware issues, etc. this is the definitive blog. Someway, somehow, Brian Krebs is the first to report major data breach and data security issues – and he does so in an easy to read/understand and entertaining way.
8. Scott and Scott Technology Blog (http://scottandscottllp.com/blogs). Not really one blog, but a series of blogs on the firm website (along with other helpful resources) that delve deep into issues involving technology contracts, including things like software audits, cloud agreements, software settlements, etc. The website also includes “micro-sites” dedicated to licensing agreements and related issues tied to specific vendors, i.e., Microsoft, IBM, Oracle, and Adobe (which can really be helpful if you happen to be trying to negotiate a deal with any of them). If you draft or deal with technology contracts, bookmark this site.
9. All About Advertising Law (http://www.allaboutadvertisinglaw.com). This blog covers the latest news and developments in advertising and consumer law, including topics like issues around advertising claims substantiation, competitor litigation, web marketing, sweepstakes/promotions, and regulatory issues such as FDA, FTC, NAD and CFPB compliance. If your company does marketing or advertising (and how many do not?), this is the place to start.
10. Socially Aware (http://www.sociallyawareblog.com). As social media continues to permeate both our personal and business lives, this is the best blog covering the cutting edge legal issues arising from the medium, e.g., user generated content, DMCA, hacking, arbitration, etc. If it touches on social media, odds are good that there is a post on “Socially Aware” that discusses the issue, from ethics to regulatory to just examples of the “most stupid,” this is the place to come. Great (and long) topic index on the lower right side to help you find what you need quickly.
Of course, there are many more blogs out there. The American Bar Association just released its list of the 100 best blogs. I was glad to see some of the blogs I like were also on that list. You can also find helpful blogs by simply typing in the subject matter you are interested in a search box and adding the word “blog.”
This will be the last post for 2016. I will pick things back up in January 2017. I think I have bunch of great topics to cover next year, some of which are suggestions from readers of the blog. We’ll take a look at working-from-home, trans-border M&A, social media, succession planning, protecting the board of directors, artificial intelligence, and many other topics. So, keep reading and, as always, if you have an idea or comment feel free to email me or post your comment on the blog.
For those who have asked, the soon to be published book with the “best of” this blog is well underway. I am working with the ABA and reviewing pages, edits, etc. Everything on schedule for an early 2017 release.
Best wishes for the Holiday Season and for a safe and prosperous 2017. Most of all, thanks for reading!
December 16, 2016
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Thanks for pulling these together, really helpful. Have a great Christmas!
Thanks for reading and for the nice comment! Best wishes to you as well. Rgds – Sterling
Great! Always very much appreciated your suggestions. Very helpful for me as I am trying to stay up-to-date with the challenges of legal English (and German). Wishing you an enjoyable Christmas season. Ruth
Hi Ruth – I appreciate the kind words! Merry Christmas to you and yours as well. Best regards – Sterling
Nice to read. Informative and introspective. Thank you for sharing
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Thanks you for reading the blog and for posting a comment. I hope my readers check out your firm’s website. Rgds