Blockchain technology is a topic that interests me greatly. It also is a favorite topic of my occasional co-author, Gwynne Monahan (often better known as @econwriter5 on Twitter). We have talked off and on for a while about collaborating on an article about blockchain tech.

The timing was right a month or two ago when I was asked about writing an article for the January tech-themed article of the ABA’s Law Practice Today.

Continue Reading Lawyers Get Ready, There’s a Blockchain Coming

Blockchain technology is a topic that interests me greatly. It also is a favorite topic of my occasional co-author, Gwynne Monahan (often better known as @econwriter5 on Twitter). We have talked off and on for a while about collaborating on an article about blockchain tech.

The timing was right a month or two ago when I was asked about writing an article for the January tech-themed article of the ABA’s Law Practice Today.

Continue Reading Lawyers Get Ready, There’s a Blockchain Coming

One of my favorite writing outlets these days is the ABA Legal Technology Resource Center’s Law Technology Today blogltrc-temporary-logo. I’m a regular participant in a series of monthly roundtable discussions by LTRC board members on technology topics.

Today, the latest of these was posted and it’s called “Finding a Work Life Balance Through Technology.”

Continue Reading Tech/Life Balance and Other Law Technology Today Roundtables

The 2015 ABA TECHREPORT is out. 2015cover.jpg.imagep.107x141

The TECHREPORT is a set of free articles where the American Bar Association’s Legal Technology Resource Center has legal technology expert analyze and summarize data from the 2015 ABA Legal Technology Survey Report.

I chipped in with an article on cloud computing survey results. The highlights:

Law firm managing partners had the highest level of reported cloud usage (46%) and a noticeably more positive response to the cloud than partners or associates.

Confidentiality, security, data control and ownership, ethics, vendor reputation and longevity, and other concerns weigh heavily on the minds of lawyers. Yet the employment of precautionary measures is quite low, with no more than 40% of respondents actually taking any one of the standard cautionary measures listed in the 2015 Survey. A shocking 16% reported taking no precautions of the types listed.

The results indicate that lawyers are becoming more familiar with cloud technologies and are attracted by anytime, anywhere access, low cost of entry, and predictable monthly expenses. Interestingly, the top features of cloud services cited by those using the cloud is different from the features those not using the cloud consider most important.

Speaking of LTRC, the excellent Law Technology Today blog has a new roundtable article called “Don’t Be Afraid, It’s Just New Technology” featuring members of the LTRC Board discussing the best ways to learn about new technology. I’m one of the panelists and part of a stellar group.

Finally, Tom Mighell and I have been cranking out episodes of The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast on regular basis (usually every other Friday) on the Legal Talk Network. I encourage you to listen the some of the recent ones:

Please enjoy.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers (Second Edition), the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version also available). Our previous book, Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, is also available (iBook version here). Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

Dennis Kennedy photographed on December 19, 2010.Last summer, I was asked the question “Are there really too many lawyers?” I wrote a reply and remembered the other day that I never posted it.

Unlike when you write something for a print publication and might have to wait months for an article to appear, the great benefit of having your own blog is that you can publish it to the world immediately – assuming that you remember to do so.

In the spirit of clearing out 2015 to get a fresh start in 2016, here’s my answer, at least last summer (because I haven’t edited it), to the question “Are there really too many lawyers?”

Are there really too many lawyers?

The science fiction writer William Gibson (@greatdismal) his the source of the well-known quote, “The future has arrived – it’s just not evenly distributed yet.” That’s a good framework to consider the “too many lawyers” question.

That question suggests that the primary issue is one of quantity and the Goldilocksian test of too much, too little or just right. However, that approach misses the most interesting and important facets of the question – distribution, allocation and, ultimately, adaptability of lawyers and the legal profession.

There are a lot of lawyers in the US – a whole lot of them – and many more enter the profession every year. Lawyers also have a tendency not to retire, at least not at an age like 65. The total number inexorably grows.

At the same time, we all see stats that perhaps 80% of people (and probably small businesses) can’t afford or find the lawyers to perform the legal services they need. There are areas like public defenders, judges and certain practice areas where there is a strong feeling that there simply aren’t enough lawyers. In my own world of information technology law, I would say that there is a severe shortage of lawyers knowledgeable in the practice area, which expands and grows more complex almost daily, or so it seems.

Perhaps paradoxically, we also live at a time where it is very difficult for lawyers to get tradition law firm jobs. Some would argue that we’ve had a few “lost years” where only a very small fraction of law school graduates got traditional law opportunities.

What I see is not a “quantity” issue, but an imbalance of supply and demand. In other words, the future of legal services might already be here, but it’s not evenly distributed yet. There is a mismatch of client need and lawyer availability, all aggravated by technology change (think Internet), geographic mobility (general population but not lawyer regulation) and, increasingly, globalization.

The “too many lawyers” question, to me, opens up the issues of legal service distribution and allocation of legal resources and alignment with the changing needs of an increasingly mobile, global and savvy client population with difficult and novel legal issues.

In so many ways, the practice of law has never been so interesting as it is today, with opportunities for creative approaches, futuristic technology tools, and ways to play a key role in the accelerating pace of change we see today.

However, too often today lawyers bemoan the “decline of the profession,” want to pull up the drawbridges and fill up the moats, and try to go back in time to some “mythical good times.”

We live in a world where commerce routes around “friction.” Lawyers have too often allowed themselves to be seen as part of the friction rather than the enablers of new approaches. The path of the Internet is littered with those who felt that what they did was so unique that the Internet would not be able to route around them.

The successful lawyers of the near future will be those who can better distribute and make available their services to the clients who need them. The successful firms will be the ones best able to identify, hire, retain and allocate lawyers to client needs. It’s not rocket science, but it requires a clear-eyed look at the present and the future and a willingness to look to new models rather than return to old structures. At least in my opinion.

The key is adaptability. Can lawyers adapt to changing times? It is reasonable to expect drastic changes on a regular basis within traditional practice areas. It is reasonable to expect clients to change, evolve and disappear. Lawyers must be adaptable to an accelerating pace of change.

Too many lawyers? I don’t know if there’s a magic number. I do know that the number of lawyers is not well distributed from the client perspective. Too many lawyers with adaptability? Not by a long shot. And, unfortunately for many lawyers who hesitate on adapting, the future is already here.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers (Second Edition), the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version also available). Our previous book, Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, is also available (iBook version here). Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

I’m a big fan of the Law Technology Today blog. [Disclosure: I’m the chair of the board for the ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center, which publishes the blog.

Dennis Kennedy photographed on December 19, 2010.

A new monthly feature of the blog is a roundtable discussion post featuring members of the LTRC Board and occasional guests. The series is a great way to hear the perspectives of some of the leading thinkers on legal technology issues in an accessible and fun way.

The format has been to serve up five questions on a topic to the roundtable participants and let the participants run with the questions.

The November roundtable on password management is probably the best one so far, in large part due to the large number of participants. While it was a little crowded around the table, I believe the the more the merrier.

The password management discussion is full of practical tips, key insights and informed perspectives. You can learn a lot from the discussion. I sure did.

Earlier roundtables covered artificial intelligence, automation and digital assistants.

I invite you to read the roundtable posts and to visit the Law Technology Today blog on a regular basis, or, even better, subscribe to it in your favorite newsreader. The LTRC board also welcomes your comments and suggestions for future roundtable topics.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers (Second Edition), the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version also available). Our previous book, Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, is also available (iBook version here). Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

I developed a new presentation on technology competence and legal ethics for the recent Missouri Bar Lex Port 2015 conference.

Lex Port Start Slide

I took a new and practical approach and wrote the following as part of the handout materials. It largely reflects the direction I took in the presentation.

Let me know what you think of this approach.

Timely Technology Competence Tips for the Non-Technological Lawyer

The Key Text. Continue Reading Timely Technology Competence Tips for the Non-Technological Lawyer

There’s been a lot of discussion about how the definition of “competence” for lawyers also includes the duty to keep up with applicable technologies.

Talk can be cheap, but the good news is that doing something about learning about applicable technologies lawyers can be an inexpensive proposition, at least in the St. Louis, Missouri area.

lexportlogo_2015_DATED_70

Exhibit A on this topic is the Missouri Bar’s Lex Port 2015, which takes place on October 26 – 27 this year. Early bird pricing of $259 for up to 12.2 tech-focused CLE hours and up to 4.2 hours of ethics CLE. In Missouri, that will satisfy your ethics CLE requirement for two years.

There looks to be a ton of great sessions with some nationally-known speakers. Here’s the program brochure.

I’ve already turned in my handout materials – early. Just something for program planners to keep in mind about me.

I’ll be doing three presentations:

  1. Taking LinkedIn to the Next Level
  2. (more important now than ever)

  3. Technical Competence and the Rules of Professional Conduct
  4. (for Ethics CLE credit – a new presentation and a new approach to the topic from me)

  5. 50 Sites, Tips & Gadgets in 50 Minutes – with an all-star panel of Catherine Sanders Reach, Ben Schorr and Jeffrey Taylor

I like Lex Port because I always learn new things. If you are in the St. Louis area (or can make it there), it’s a great use of your time and CLE money. Registration information here.

Hope to see you there.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers (Second Edition), the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version also available). Our previous book, Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, is also available (iBook version here). Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

Tom Mighell and I have had an especially good run of episodes recently on The Kennedy-Mighell Report podcast. I especially want to recommend the most recent one “Are Lawyers Ready for Artificial Intelligence?Podcasting portrait

I had been seeing a lot of blog posts, articles, tweets and other mentions of AI, IBM Watson, machine learning and the like. I wanted to talk about it on the podcast. I had to convince Tom that we had something to add to the conversation. As usual, he did’t think he’d have much to say. And, as usual, when he says that, we have some of our longer episodes.

In a way, it was a perfect topic. I like topics where I can push Tom to react to some of my wildest ideas and we both start to see practical opportunities. This episode will also be known by us as the one where I left Tom speechless with one of my ideas.

There’s some interesting stuff in this podcast and I encourage you to listen to it and to subscribe to the podcast.

Here’s the show summary:

“Artificial Intelligence is a means of designing a system that can perceive its environment and take actions that will maximize its success.” -Tom Mighell

Developments in Big Data, machine learning, IBM Watson, and other advancements in technology have brought back the cyclical discussion of what artificial intelligence might mean for lawyers. Has anything really changed, or have we just reached another round of the AI debate?

In this episode of The Kennedy-Mighell Report, Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell analyze recent discussions about artificial intelligence and lawyers, try to separate myth from reality, and ponder whether AI can take over the work of lawyers. Together, they discuss the definition of AI, robotics, Technology Assisted Review, driverless cars, document assembly software, LegalZoom and how lawyers are assisted or threatened by these technologies. Dennis points out that lawyers are often worried about computer system mistakes but comfortable with the lower success rate of humans. Tom aptly explains that comfort in certain technologies stems from psychological acceptance.

In the second half of the podcast, Dennis and Tom revisit traveling with technology. As Dennis was just in Europe, and Tom is headed there soon, they talk about wireless routers, mobile wifi, headphones, phone chargers, backpacks, and the other various technology necessities to bring on your vacation. As always, stay tuned for Parting Shots, that one tip, website, or observation you can use the second the podcast ends.

In the “B segment” of our next episode, which will be released soon, Tom and I revisited the topic of AI and Tom challenged me to come up with practical examples of the ways lawyers might use AI. I think even Tom will (grudgingly) admit that I won that challenge. Be sure to tune in to that episode.

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers (Second Edition), the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version also available). Our previous book, Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, is also available (iBook version here). Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.

Welcome to the 2014 edition of Dennis Kennedy’s annual Best of Law-related Blogging Awards, affectionately known as the “Blawggies.”

The Blawggies, which honor the best law-related blogs as determined from my personal and highly-opinionated perspective, were first unleashed on an unsuspecting blogosphere in December 2004 and are an annual tradition here at DennisKennedy.Blog. Dennis Kennedy photo

This historic eleventh edition of the awards makes them the longest running annual awards list for law-related blogs selected by a lawyer named Dennis Kennedy living in St. Louis, Missouri. What was originally just a crazy idea has turned into a bit of an institution in the world of law-related blogging, illustrating my original premise: “Hey, I have a blog and there’s nothing stopping me from making up my own awards.”

I’ve always wanted to do three things with the Blawggie awards:

1. To highlight the law-related blogs I read and like and to say thank you to those who write them.

2. To direct my readers to the law-related blogs I enjoy.

3. To prompt others to give their own awards so I can learn about other blogs I should be reading.

I’ve included some explanatory and historical information about the Blawggies at the end of this post. As I’ve said before and explain in more detail at the end of this post, the Blawggies are not based on any popular votes, surveys or, God forbid, objective criteria. I choose the winners from only the blogs I read regularly. They are highly-opinionated choices made by me alone as I write this post.

Executive Summary.

Spoiler Alert In this era of short attention spans, many people, especially lawyers, do not like 3,000 word posts such as this one. Even fewer like long introductions to even longer blog posts, or reading through commentary to learn the award winners. What follows is the executive summary list of winners. If you’d like to keep up the level of suspense, you’ll want to scroll quickly past the summary list. If all you really want to know is whether I mention you or your blawg, hit control-F (or command-F for Mac users) and search for your name or your blawg’s name.

Here’s the list of the award winners. I will encourage you to read the whole post for details and the runner-up choices, and my thoughts about the blawgs. And I definitely encourage you to add the RSS feeds to all of these blogs to your RSS reader or “regularly-visited blogs” list.

2014 Blawggie Award Categories and Winners.


1. Best Overall Law-Related Blog – Law Technology Today

2. The “Marty Schwimmer” Best Practice-Specific Legal Blog – The Inhouse Blog

3. Best Law Practice Management Blog – Jim Calloway’s Law Practice Tips Blog

4. Best Law-related Blog Category – Law Librarian Blogs

5. Best Legal Podcast – The Kennedy-Mighell Report

6. The “Sherry Fowler” Best Writing on a Blawg Award – Marty Schwimmer’s The Trademark Blog

7. Best Law Professor Blog – Legal Skills Prof Blog

8. The “DennisKennedy.Blog” Best Legal Technology Blog – Ron Friedman’s Strategic Legal Technology

9. Best New Blawg – John Simek’s Your IT Consultant

10. Best Blawg Aggregator – Tie: TechnoLawyer’s BlawgWorld; Pinhawk Law Technology Daily Digest

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I encourage you to keep reading this post to learn about the winning blogs (and why I felt that they were winners) and about the runners-up.

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THE 2014 BLAWGGIE AWARDS

1. Best Overall Law-Related Blog – Law Technology Today

I must disclose that I’m the vice chair of the board for the ABA’s Legal Technology Resource Center, but I’m so impressed with the LTRC’s Law Technology Today blog that I’m giving it the grand prize this year. It deserves a much bigger audience than it already has. The team of Josh Poje, Gwynne Monahan, Rose Frommelt and Lauren DeGroot have built and will continue to build a great resource with strong regular content on legal technology (obviously) and other law-related issues. For example, a recent post, Four Areas of Legal Ripe for Disruption by Smart Startups, generated a lot of attention and discussion. There’s already a great list of contributors and the opportunity for others (perhaps you) to join up.

Runner-up – Security, privacy and related matters are at the center of attention these days and no one covers these issues as well and in as plain language as Sharon Nelson in her Ride the Lightning blog. Her posts practical and thoughtful posts often cover breaking developments with real-world insights that apply to real people focusing on real issues. These topics cut across all traditional areas of law.

2. The Marty Schwimmer Best Practice-Specific Blog – The Inhouse Blog

This category is named for Marty Schwimmer, whose The Trademark Blog, has long been my gold standard for what a practice-specific blog should be. I’m an inhouse counsel, so my definition of “practice-specific” might vary from yours. This blog just keeps getting stronger and more valuable – a highly useful resource with practical information, links, news and developments relevant to inhouse counsel. Highly recommended for anyone who is an inhouse counsel, wants to be an inhouse counsel or wants to work better with inhouse counsel.

Runner-up – The Exari Blog took the runner-up prize in this category for 2014. One of the goals of the Blawggies is to get you to think in different ways and look off the beaten path for helpful blogs. I’ve been thinking a lot about contract lifecycle management, contract automation and contracting processes this year. The Exari Blog is a great example of a vendor blog that provides useful information and thoughtful commentary on a regular basis. Check it out.

3. Best Law Practice Management Blog – Jim Calloway’s Law Practice Tips Blog

The title of Jim Calloway’s Law Practice Tips Blog basically says it all. It’s a combination of great practical tips, pointers to other useful information and helpful practical insights, all delivered in Jim’s great plain-spoken style that everyone can understand and relate to. Blawgs that have been around for a long time can ebb and flow, but Jim has been on a roll recently, with a nice run of great posts. This blog should be on every practicing lawyer’s list.

Runner-up – Allison Shields’ LegalEase Blog. The Blawggies are all about highlighting the work of my friends who produce high-quality practical content. I can’t let this year’s list go by without a hat tip to Allison and her blog. Even though Allison and I regularly write and speak together, I always know that I’ll find something new and insightful in her writing, often of the “I wish I had said that” type. This blog is great on social media, ethics, and a variety of law practice management topics.

4. Best Law-related Blog Category – Law Librarian Blogs

I use this category annually to highlight the blogs written by law librarians, a category that I don’t think gets enough attention. These blogs are places to find great information, help for finding information, links to great resources and just plain interesting insights into topics like knowledge management and our changing world of information. If you want to try just one, Sabrina Pacifici’s BeSpacific Blog provides a steady stream of links to great US government and other information, and has been especially good over the last few months. There’s a great list of law library blogs here.

Runner-up – Non-US Law-related Blogs – I also use this category to remind people that blawgging is a global phenomenon. As longtime readers know, I’m a huge fan of Canadian bloggers. As I’ve said before, “If you only have US blogs on your reading list, you need to go global.” Diversity is a good thing. Why not start in Canada? The annual Clawbie awards will give you a starter list. In the UK, I especially like the Legal Futures Blog. Take a chance and globalize your approach to blawgs.

5. Best Legal Podcast – The Kennedy-Mighell Report

My friend and podcast Tom Mighell will be rolling his eyes and shaking his head when he reads this award, but, darn it, I thought that we did a really good job in 2014. Our last couple of podcasts have been really good – Pardon the 2014 Legal Technology Interruption (our look back at legal tech developments in 2014) and Controlling Your Social Media Strategy. I especially like our recent podcast on discovering and listening to podcasts called The Fundamentals of Podcasts: Listening and Subscribing, a primer on how to get started in listening to podcasts and to find podcasts that really help you. Our podcast appears every other week and covers, as we say, “legal technology with an Internet focus.” We’re nearing our episode #150 of the podcast.

Runner-up – The Digital Edge Podcast – Sharon Nelson and Jim Calloway have done a great job this year with their legal tech and law practice management podcast on the Legal Talk Network and I’ve really enjoyed all the episodes this year.

6. The Sherry Fowler Best Writing on a Blawg Award – Marty Schwimmer’s The Trademark Blog

I’m a big fan of the pure writing ability of some of the best blawggers. I named this award after the legal blogger who had the biggest influence on my blog writing, Sherry “Scheherezade” Fowler (who hasn’t been a lawyer blogger for many years). This is my favorite of the Blawggies, my most-opinionated award, and the one I historically get most criticized for. The bottom line: I like the writing I like.

Martin Schwimmer could win this award every year. However, he locked up this year’s award with just one post called 5000 Trademark Blog Posts, which I will now quote in full:

There have been 5000 posts on The Trademark Blog since May 2002. If your trademark attorney had read all 5000 posts, then they would be informed. If they had written all 5000 posts, then they would be me.

If you ever heard the term “drops the mic” and wondered what it meant, this post illustrates exactly what it means.

Runner-up – Pinhawk Law Technology Daily Digest – Although technically not a blog, Jeff Brandt’s daily email newsletter selects three or four worthy blog posts and summarizes them in a pithy, witty and engaging style. Jeff also illustrates Dave Winer’s idea that a blog is the “unedited voice of a person.” We all get too much email, but this is an email newsletter that you won’t mind at all in in your inbox.

7. Best Law Professor Blog – Legal Skills Prof Blog

Although, I’m nominally a contributing editor of the Legal Skills Prof Blog, I’m way more a reader than a contributor. As the debate about the future of legal education blossomed and took on a sense of urgency in 2014, the “practical skills” approach in law school programming started to get a lot of attention. This blog’s coverage of those issues was excellent and it’s a great place to keep up-to-date on discussions about the future of legal education, analysis of current trends, and generally helpful links and information.

Runner-up – The Legal Whiteboard – Bill Henderson and his fellow contributors cover the cutting edge of law practice, legal education and delivery of legal services. If you want to now what’s happening on the frontier of the practice, this is the outpost you want to visit.

8. The DennisKennedy.Blog Best Legal Technology Blog – Ron Friedman’s Strategic Legal Technology

[Note: I used to give my own blog this award every year, in part because of the attribution issue I talk about in this post and in part because I thought some of my blogging friends got a laugh out of it. They did, but others didn’t, and, instead, I started the tradition of naming the award for my blog rather than having my blog win it. I still get some criticism for that, and my friends laugh even more at that. Or maybe they just like to laugh at me.]

Legal technology takes many forms and covers a wide range of areas. Ron’s blog is always one of my “go to” blogs on legal technology because Ron thinks deeply and carefully about the implications of legal technology. His posts also give me plenty to think about and he comfortable ranges across the landscape of the coming future of legal technology and law practice.

Runners-up – Jeffrey Taylor’s The Droid Lawyer and Jeff Richardson’s iPhone J.D. – Mobile devices became a large category of legal technology in the last few years. Fortunately, there are two great blogs from two great Jeffs that are essential for those of us using iOS and Android devices. Lots of practical information, tips, news and examples of the way lawyers are using mobile devices. Although having the name “Jeff” probably is not a requirement to blog about mobile devices for lawyers, maybe in 2015 we’ll see a Microsoft Surface blawg.

9. Best New Blawg – John Simek’s Your IT Consultant

John Simek hit the ground running with this new blog in May 2014 and hasn’t let up on the pace. I really like the title, especially because whenever I have difficult tech questions, John is always someone I ask. The blog is direct and to the point, as is John, and gives you practical advice, makes you think, and, most important, gets you to take some action.

10. Best Blawg Aggregator – Tie: TechnoLawyer’s BlawgWorld; Pinhawk Law Technology Daily Digest

Here are two different approaches to keep up with legal tech and law practice management blogs and other posts related to the legal profession. If you read DennisKennedy.Blog, then you should be (and probably already are) a member of Neil Squillante’s excellent TechnoLawyer community, with its great set of resources on legal tech, marking and management. TechnoLawyer’s BlawgWorld is a weekly email newsletter that uses human editors to cull out useful blog posts and other materials. They say, “Week after week, BlawgWorld provides you with everything you need from the legal Web but nothing you don’t.” The Pinhawk Law Technology Daily Digest is a daily email newsletter in which Jeff Brandt highlights three or four blawg posts on legal tech and summarizes and comments on them in his perceptive, concise and often witty way. His eye for selection is also great and I usually find myself checking out a few of the linked posts everyday.

And there you have it – the 2014 Blawggie Awards.

I wish I could give awards to all the blawgs (and blogs) I like, but this post is already long enough (another Blawggie tradition). Once again, I encourage you to create your own awards (although I’d prefer that you not call them Blawggies – that makes me feel that you don’t read my blog). You might also take a look at the awards for prior years to find even more great blawgs.

When it really comes down to it, the Blawggies are really my way of saying thank you to the blawgs I enjoy most. There are times when blogging can seem like a thankless pursuit, so remember that all bloggers welcome a thank you from readers from time to time.

Some Background on the Blawggies.

The Blawggies are not based on any popular votes, surveys or, God forbid, objective criteria. They are highly-opinionated choices made by me alone, based on my experience, expertise and likes and dislikes gained from more than ten years of blogging and from reading blogs voraciously for a good number of years before that.

The reactions to the Blawggies have traditionally run the gamut from “who does this guy think he is?” to “if he’s so smart about blawgs, why didn’t he give my blawg an award?” to “who is Dennis Kennedy?”

I used to get some criticism for giving myself awards or naming awards after me on this list (in fact, I still do), but, as I’ve explained before, most of the reason for that stems from my longtime experience of seeing lists I made republished without attribution or linkbacks. Adding myself to the list is a way to make sure that someone finds his or her way back to my work if the list is “repurposed.”

From the beginning, I expected that many bloggers would pick up on the idea and write their own awards posts. After all, there is no barrier to entry for posting your own awards. I thought that I could then get great recommendations for blogs to add to my reading list from other awards posts in much the same way you can get great recommendations for new music to listen to from the “best of the year” posts by music bloggers that appear at this time of year.

As I’ve said before, “When you realize that there is no reason that you can’t simply post your own awards, you move you from merely blogging to becoming a Blogger with a capital ‘B.'”

The best response to my list is to post your own list, although I do invite your comments and discussion about my list.

The Blawggie-winning Criteria.

I like blogs with (1) consistently useful content, (2) a generous and helpful approach, and (3) a combination of commitment, personality and talent, with an emphasis on good writing. In other words, I like blogs that compel me to read them on a regular basis.

The awards necessarily reflect my many biases and personal preferences, which are far too numerous to list here.

It’s very important to remember that the awards also reflect the blawgs I actually read. While I read a lot of law-related blogs, the number of blawgs I read continues to decrease and the number of non-law-related blogs I read increases. Also, the blawgs I do read are concentrated in my areas of interest and day-to-day focus.

I’m a transactional lawyer, who focuses on information technology law, legal technology and law practice management issues. For better or worse, I’m simply not familiar with most litigation-oriented, criminal defense, regulatory or other specialized blogs. You get the idea.

A Word about the Name “Blawggies.”

Among the historic documents of law-related blogging are a series of emails in which Denise Howell (@dhowell), blogging pioneer and coiner of the term “blawg,” and I had on the question whether “Blawggies” (as well as “blawgger” and “blawgging”) should be spelled with one or two “gs”. As a result, I’m pretty confident that I have the correct spelling.

I use the word “blawg” in the sense of “law-related blogs.” I find “lawyer blogs” or “legal blogs” to be limiting and inaccurate for what I want to cover.

All best wishes for 2015.

Dennis

[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://denniskennedy.com/blog/)]

View Dennis Kennedy's profile on LinkedIn

Follow my microblog on Twitter – @dkennedyblog. Follow me – @denniskennedy

LinkedIn in One Hour for Lawyers (Second Edition), the new book from Allison Shields and me, is now available (iBook version also available). Our previous book, Facebook in One Hour for Lawyers, is also available (iBook version here). Also still available, The Lawyer’s Guide to Collaboration Tools and Technologies: Smart Ways to Work Together, by Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell.