I just got an email from the ABA about nominating legal blogs for their Blawg 100 list. Here’s how my thought process went:
- Gee, I hope my blog makes the list this year.
- Should I ask my readers to vote for my blog? That seems like more self-promotion than I’m comfortable with. (Blech. Ick — “Pubished,” eh?)
- Hey, wait, maybe if I mention the awards, but pretend that I’m doing so only to discuss other blogs, I’ll get nominations without looking like a huckster.
Clever, no? (And when my obscure and ranting blog is not chosen, I plan to react quite graciously, like this.)
The ABA publishes an annual list, the Blawg 100, that purports to identify the best* legal blogs.** Except a lot*** of the obvious choices (Scotusblog, How Appealing, etc.) are already on their Blawg 100 Hall of Fame. The ABA deems the Hall its highest blog honor, so the 40 Hall of Famers aren’t eligible for the annual 100 list.****
* A list of the worst would be more fun.
** I hate the cutesy word “blawg.” I’d sooner refer to myself as a nose-picker than as a blawger.
**** This is just as well, since it saves me ranting on about the misogyny of HOFer Simple Justice.
Am I the only one who questions whether there are 140 award-worthy legal blogs? I bet not. (But the time I spend writing my blog cuts into the time I have to read others, so what do I know?) I’ve often mentioned several of my favorites here, especially How Appealing and New Jersey Appellate Law, and I enjoy Noah Feldman‘s column on Bloomberg.
Anyway, this year I’m nominating De Novo: A Virginia Appellate Law Blog. De Novo is authored by Jay O’Keeffe, an appellate and business lawyer in Roanoke. De Novo consistently pulls off a balance I’ve aspired to: it’s filled with useful information and interesting ideas, yet it’s relentlessly readable.
Most of my favorite De Novo posts cover appellate advocacy, like this one entitled Legal Writing Tip: Focus Before Detail, this detailed one on a disastrous Ninth Circuit oral argument, and this one on how to handle the Fourth Circuit’s sinister rule that counsel don’t find out who’s on their panel until the morning of oral argument. (Plus he’s a fellow Butterick fanboy!) The content is terrific, and it’s always presented with clarity, humility, and humor.
Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed this post, which is not at all about nominating my blog for the Blawg 100.