I was honored to see Insurance Coverage Law Blog listed as one of Ted Frank’s 10 favorite legal blogs in a post at Overlawyered. The kind words are much appreciated, particularly in that the other nine include some pretty amazing sites. I’ve never done one of those Top Tens, I guess I’m afraid of leaving some people out, but certainly any list I would put together would include Overlawyered and its sister blog Point of Law, and I don’t say that merely because I’m lucky enough to be a contributor to Point of Law. Ted Frank and Walter Olson are among the outstanding legal bloggers, and Walter was a pioneer of legal blogging. The Becker-Posner Blog, with Gary Becker and Judge Posner, is always good with highly intellectual posts on a variety of topics, usually with lots of provocative comments. Peter Lattman at the Wall Street Journal Law Blog does an incredible job of reporting and writing really interesting posts.
There are others I like a lot, not all of which I read regularly, what with my day job and the need to focus my internet reading on insurance as much as possible. Any list I would put together therefore would vary from one three-month span to another, depending on where my attention happened to be directed at a particular time. So it would be unjust and only partially true for me to put together a Top Ten — however, the four blogs named above would appear at the head of any list if I ever do put one together.
I am prepared to say, however, what I like and don’t like in a legal blog. Some of the things I look for:
- good writing first and foremost, which includes proactive measures to avoid being boring and to arrange things so the writer, not the reader, does the work;
- some degree of interactiveness, either with a comments feature or links to other blogs discussing the same topic;
- a tone that suggests the writer is more interested in discussing ideas than blatantly shilling to sell legal services or aggrandize himself;
- a willingness to take a stand on issues. A lot of legal bloggers make the mistake of writing with a painfully "objective" voice that may steer well clear of offending anyone but also provides no value and no sense there is a person behind the blog the reader can connect with (in addition, one might point that this voice, along with its other faults, is horribly, unspeakably boring — as the great Tanya Donelly once sang, if you bore me, you lose your soul to me); and
- either a sense of humor or tacit acknowledgment that the writer knows a sense of humor would be a good thing to have, if one were available.
Readers? What are your favorite legal blogs? Favorite non-legal blogs?