Time is running out to cast your votes in the ABA Journal’s fifth Annual Blawg 100 contest to choose the most popular law blogs. To vote for your favorites, go to abajournal.com/blawg100 by December 30.
The blogs are divided into 12 categories, and voters are allowed 12 votes. But you are allowed to vote more than once in each category.
Among the nominees are four efforts by members of the Employers Counsel Network (ECN), a group of law firms in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Canada that advise and represent employers on workplace issues. The election has inspired the ECN bloggers to focus on their goals, and one has even come up with a few blawg-related New Year’s resolution possibilities.
Kristin Gray, one of the writers of That’s What She Said, which is nominated in the “For Fun” category, says it’s a pleasure working “with such a great group of fellow attorneys, bloggers, and fans of The Office.” The blawg, which mixes employment law and comedy as it examines the potential legal trouble presented each week in NBC’s The Office television show, is written by attorneys from Ford & Harrison.
“As ‘That’s What She Said’ bloggers, we get to enjoy watching one of our favorite shows and also writing about it from an employment law standpoint,” Gray says. “It is a creative way to educate people about our practice areas. Each week I look forward to either writing about the most recent episode or seeing what my colleagues have written about it. Each of our bloggers has his or her own style and voice, which keeps the writing fresh each week.”
As for her New Year’s resolution, Gray says she’s “still trying to choose between opening a beet farm and writing the next Agent Michael Scarn screenplay.”
Dinita James of Ford & Harrison in Phoenix writes Arizoneout, a blog focusing on medical marijuana in the workplace. “‘Arizoneout’s’ recognition in the Blawg 100 has a lot to do with just how challenging the medical marijuana issue has turned out to be, especially for employers in the state,” says James, editor of Arizona Employment Law Letter.
“The political and legal issues seem to change daily, and there is just so much material to cover,” James says. “When I decided to start the blog, I developed a list of about 20 topics I wanted to cover, and I’m only about a quarter of the way through the list after seven months of blogging.”
“Blogging has been and continues to be a valuable tool for our practice,” DiBianca says. “By writing the blog and reading other employment law blogs, I stay on top of the latest developments and get an early sense of trends and issues before they make the headlines.”
DiBianca says the blog provides a payoff for clients. “The blog also has become a valuable resource for our clients, who have ready access to a tremendous database of cases and articles written in a straightforward and no-nonsense way. Certainly, the blog requires a great deal of work to maintain, but it is, without a doubt, a labor of love,” she says.
Always a frontrunner in the contest, Work Matters is by Dallas attorney Mike Maslanka. “It is a privilege to write the blog,” he says. “I get to discuss issues of interest to me: what the Buddha teaches us about being better lawyers, how to make an ethical decision in the workplace, why grateful lawyers are better lawyers.”
Another issue Maslanka — the editor of Texas Employment Law Letter — finds fascinating is what he calls “the counterintuitive nature of employment law.” What’s the best part of writing “Work Matters”? “When I get an e-mail from a stranger, soon to be a friend, saying thanks for the insights.”