Steve Matthews, my colleague at Stem Legal, has announced that nominations are now being accepted for the 2009 Clawbies, which recognize the very best in Canadian law blogging. The fourth annual awards are seeking your recommendations for Canadian law blogs that deserve widespread recognition for excellence over the past year. In particular, we’d like you to create a post nominating three blogs for Clawbies, along with your brief reasons why these blogs merit an award. If you’re inclined to include Law21 on your list, thank you, but as a Senior Consultant with Stem, I’m officially and happily conflicted out of the running.
Steve is asking nominators to think about “sleeper picks,” blogs that might not get as much attention as more widely-known candidates. Accordingly, while I’m a fan of many Canadian law blogs and would be happy to place them on my ballot, I’m going to give my 2009 nominations to what I consider three underrated and/or important blogs:
1. The Court. Osgoode Hall Law School’s blog covering the Supreme Court of Canada is part of the revolution in how we think about law journals. With regular, sometimes even daily posts about SCC rulings and/or lower-court decisions interpreting those rulings, The Court has become required reading for law students, law professors and lawyers who want to stay up to speed on the rapid evolution of Canadian jurisprudence. I’d put it up against SCOTUSblog or any similar site worldwide for the depth and insight of its coverage.
2. The Cross-Border Biotech Blog. The next generation of law blogs is going to be deeply niched, client-focused, social-network-savvy and above all, about more than just the law. The Cross-Border Biotech Blog scores in all four respects, with industry trend updates, science news, Twitter recaps, and a consistent focus on what biotech clients care about. Jeremy Grushcow of Ogilvy Renault LLP is the lead author, but other contributors come from both sides of the border and a wide range of specialties — possibly the first multidisciplinary law blog, definitely not the last.
3. Fired Without Cause. I wish I could find a regularly updated Canadian law blog that focuses on access to justice and public legal education, because we sorely need one. But Fired Without Cause, the eponymous blog of a Vancouver-based wrongful-dismissal legal services provider, has some of that spirit. Its posts are accessible, plain-language guides to help both employees and employers navigate end-of-employment challenges with minimum damage to both parties. It’s no coincidence that a law blog written to be understandable to the public does not come from a law firm.
Who are your nominees? You don’t have to be Canadian to cast your votes — and if you need a refresher on the potential candidates, check out Steve’s Canadian Law Blogs List. Vote early, because the winners will be announced New Year’s Eve.