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Blawg 100 Amici

It’s that time of year again. The ABA Journal is soliciting input for inclusion into this year’s Blawg 100 – a list of the 100 best legal blogs in the US.  This is the first year Associate’s Mind is available for inclusion as they do not allow blawgs run by law students to be included in the list. Lawyers only for the ABA Journal – sorry law students. I’m going to be filling out a amici for a few blawgs that are I think are worthy of inclusion in the list. Most of them would probably be included anyway – but I want to offer my support.

Also, if you enjoy Associate’s Mind, I’d appreciate it if you’d drop a brief amici in support of our inclusion. It should only take you a couple minutes. No worries if you don’t though. This will be my only mention of it, so if you do submit an amici for Associate’s Mind, thank you very much for your support.

Click Here to Submit Amici

EDIT: As per @BlawgWhisperer, law student blawgs are allowed for nomination, but there is not a law student blawg CATEGORY. So feel free to submit any law student blawgs you see fit.

Thanks to @BlawgWhisperer for correcting me. She used small words so I would understand.

  • http://blog.simplejustice.us shg

    How wonderful that you appreciate the signficance and honor of being included in the ABA Blawg 100. Now that you’re eligible for inclusion, it presents a fabulous branding opportunity and, should you succeed in being elevated to the apex of blawgsopheric importance, you will be entitled to purchase foot long sandwiches at Subway for a mere $5.

    What a deal.

    • http://associatesmind.com Keith Lee

      So if I’m included, that’s when I start making $$$ off this whole blawging thing right? I thought that was the point of all of this – a Subway discount card seems like a bum deal.

      I’d be better off trying to increase my Klout score than get in the ABA Blawg 100 if that’s the case.

      • http://blog.simplejustice.us shg

        I never said you get a Subway discount card. Don’t put words in my mouth.

        • http://associatesmind.com Keith Lee

          My apologies. I’m “entitled to buy foot long sandwiches at Subway for a mere $5.”

          Wait a minute – can’t I do that already?

          You seem to insinuating that there is no benefit from being included in the ABA Blawg 100?!?

  • http://www.keenetrial.com/blog/ Rita Handrich

    Hi Keith–

    I offer an alternate perspective to Scott. Blawg 100 does NOT confer money or sandwiches. What it does do is recognize how hard you have to work to blog day in and day out with substance over style.

    While the Top Blawg in Category is an artifact of firm size (more votes) or popularity, the nod itself (as a member of the Blawg 100) is an affirmation. It is easy to become cynical and jaded as we all watch SEO style blogs rise in the ranks. And I do not pretend to be an expert on the content and quality of blogs in the legal arena.

    All I know is that when we got a Blawg 100 nod last year, both Doug and I smiled for the remainder of the day. And again every time we were reminded of it via email and phone calls for the next while thereafter. We enjoyed the readership bump and mourned its fall but we are back up to those initial post-Blawg 100 visits again. There was not a down side to Blawg 100 status and there is certainly an up side to such easy grins.

    Blogging is hard to do consistently and well. You do both. A Blawg 100 nod is external affirmation of that for when inspiration, energy and motivation run low. Plus you get that neat badge for your website. You can see the badge proudly displayed on Scott’s blog here: http://blog.simplejustice.us/. You will note that the badge changes appearance each year as Scott displays his badges for 2007, 2008, 2009 and 2010. :)

    • http://associatesmind.com Keith Lee

      Hi Mrs. Handrich,

      First off, I appreciate the kind words in regards to my blog. I enjoy the Jury Room as well – it provides a unique perspective in the legal blogging world.

      While I don’t want to put words into this mouth (see above), I believe SHG’s ribbing of me in mentioning the Blawg 100 is more in relation to the larger ongoing commentary in the larger “blawgosphere” regarding branding and ethics. See branding here and ethics here.

      Being included in any “listing” for blogging, marketing, etc, is, practically speaking, not that relevant to a practicing attorney. The only thing that is relevant for a practicing attorney is the quality of representation and service they provide to their clients. Something SHG is quite passionate about and does his best to encourage such a view by young attorneys -and I agree with him. While it would be nice to included in the Blawg 100 – external affirmation of the time and effort I put into this blog is appreciated – it is not necessary. This blog is not in any way related to my firm or our practice. I blog because I enjoy writing and talking about law and technology and my wife was tired of listening to me. I write for the shear pleasure and benefit I gain from writing. If people wish to recognize that – that’s fine. But it in no way relates or reflects on my ability to adequately or appropriately conduct myself as an attorney. The only people who are qualified to speak to that are other lawyers who have directly worked with me on a case or my firm’s clients.

  • http://www.keenetrial.com/blog/ Rita Handrich

    I quite realized he was ribbing you. (And Mrs. Handrich is my mother. Rita is fine.) And I would never think your writing acumen speaks at all to your practice proficiency. They are two very different things not generally equated except by those who do not engage in complex thought processes.

    I simply tire of “ABA Blawg 100 means nothing” while badges are prominently displayed on the blog itself. It is disingenuous. Blawg 100 inclusion is not necessary for blogging. It is a nice recognition though. But if that badge was all it took for anyone who does not enjoy writing to maintain consistent posting day after day after day–I’d be pretty surprised.

    Scott’s blog defines consistency in posting. There is no way we could emulate what he does. He is obviously someone who enjoys writing and he writes in a way that is engaging and interesting. When I have seen Scott on video interviews I have been struck by the soft eyes and self-effacing grin that is under the crusty ‘get off my lawn’ blogger. He seems (even on video) to be a man who cares deeply about many things and he expresses that passion in his written word. I value that.

    We blog for the fun and joy and ability to share the things we learn along the way. And it creates a plethora of content that shows how we think and a bit of how we work. That’s what the blog is for–and ABA Blawg 100 inclusion was a nice thing. If it wasn’t, we wouldn’t display the badge. And, I think, neither would Scott.

    Here in Texas, natives often end such a speech with “I’m just saying”. So I will too.

    I’m just saying.

    • http://associatesmind.com Keith Lee


      That’s fair enough. As a new lawyer conducting myself publicly and openly online, I am sensitive to my reputation. As I linked above, it can be quite easy for people to get the wrong impression of a lawyer online so I try to conduct my behavior very carefully. Along those lines, I feel obligated to make sure it is conveyed that I am writing for the right reasons (for pleasure and benefit) and not in an attempt to market myself as some form of expert – with only a few months of practice under my belt I clearly am not.

      So while inclusion in the Blawg 100 would be quite gratifying (and I would proudly display the badge on my site), I am also hesitant to give it too much attention in that it might give readers the impression that I am something that I am not.

      I’m just saying. :)

      Regardless, thank you again for the kind words and I appreciate you sharing your perspective.

    • http://blog.simplejustice.us shg

      Hi Rita,

      You are much too kind to me. As for why I put the ABA Blawg 100 badges on my blawg, however, your explanation isn’t quite right. In fact, I explained this very detail in a post about a year ago, but I guess you missed it.

      My reasoning is fairly simple and just a bit manipulative. The badges are free and available, so there’s no cost of entry. To regular readers, they’re meaningless. They either like my posts or not, and no one is impressed with a badge. But to new readers, or those who stumble onto SJ, the badges serve the relatively benign purpose of attributed credibility for some, and to the extent it makes a reader take my point a bit more seriously, it serves a purpose.

      Is it worth the effort? Sure, given that the ABA Journal gives them away. If I had to ask for it, I wouldn’t bother. As for pride, surely you know I have none, as is readily apparent from my self-effacing smile. To the extent pride enters into it at all, mine is based on my content and not on external validation. Granted, that may make others feel good about themselves, and I don’t begrudge anyone validation if that’s what they need, but you (of all people) should know not to project feelings onto others.

      Thank you again for your overly kind words.


  • http://www.keenetrial.com/blog/ Rita Handrich

    No projection here. Just simple armchair psychoanalysis from afar. And yes, I did miss that post wherein all was explained.

    And as for your self-effacing smile–it was only one one video and while watching I was struck by the juxtaposition of your crabby persona and your soft face. Later, I think you explained it away as technology confusion/bemusement, but I prefer to believe there is a softie buried underneath the grouch yelling ‘get off my lawn’.

    • http://blog.simplejustice.us shg

      Nah, the crabby persona is the real me. The world is full of the empathetic and enabling. Somebody has to be the mean guy who says what others won’t because they desperately want people to like them.

      Living in a fairy tale may make people feel good about themselves, but tends to leave them unprepared when the world kicks them in the teeth.

  • http://www.keenetrial.com/blog/ Rita Handrich

    I think there is a difference between living in a fairy tale and believing there is good in the world. I’ve been kicked in the teeth a few times but there were always contributions on my part to making that happen. And I am more wary and careful as I age up but I still believe in the good.

    But see, here’s the thing. I’ve seen your tweets to your daughter. I’ve seen you choose to be kind. And I’ve seen you choose to be very unkind. Perhaps it is that I am not an attorney and I am not afraid of you–nor do I feel duty bound to correct you when you err. In my observation, you are more complex than the crabby persona.

    As are we all.