2008 CLawBies – Canadian Law Blog Awards

Welcome to the 2008 CLawBies! As we highlight another year of great Canadian legal blog content, I’d like to start by pointing everyone’s eyes down south to Dennis Kennedy’s 2008 Blawggies, where Canada had an outstanding year (clearly Mr. Kennedy has a secret ice rink in his backyard he hasn’t been telling us about).  We are humbled by your recognitions Dennis!

This is year number three for the Clawbies, and in all honestly, these ‘fun’ awards make December the most enjoyable part of my year. Canadian law bloggers seem to take pride in keeping our community open, and spreading the recognition around. This year’s new nomination procedure featured lots of great blog-to-blog recomendations, and hopefully went one step further in reinforcing that culture.

Like last year, I offer my personal congratulations to everyone listed over at lawblogs.ca, and the usual warning not to take this (or any other blog Award) too seriously.

So without further ado, here is the 2008 edition Clawbies. Enjoy!

1) Best Canadian Law Blog (or Blogger) Award: Law21 – Anyone that says it’s impossible to break into blogging these days needed to watch Jordan Furlong this past year. Wherever you went in 2008, Jordan’s thoughts were cited and more frequently revered.  Law21 received the most nominations, both from fellow bloggers and via email. But mostly, Jordan’s blog is the 2008 winner because it became a fixture for anyone trying to think critically about legal practice.  Runner up: Slaw – Once again a bridesmaid, though I do try to make up for it below. Not that Slaw can’t win, but solo blogging is a tough gig to do well, and in 2008 it simply felt right to let Jordan bask in the spotlight.

2) Best Practitioner Support BlogCanadian Trademark Blog – This was a year of stepping out for the Canadian Trademark Blog. They added a couple new bloggers to their in-house team, completed a re-design (sans Steve Matthews), and really found their edge. Two events that stood out were a January road trip to catch up with law bloggers down in Seattle, and the significant media coverage generated by one of their posts regarding Olympic trademark registrations by VANOC.   – Runner ups: All About Information, Thoughts from a Management Lawyer, Human Rights in the Workplace

3) Legal Culture Award – Slaw evolved in 2008, drawing in more Canadian blogging talent (see Omar & the Daves!) and producing even more quality commentary.  Despite my own involvement, this year’s nomination process (and Blawggies award) support what I’ve always known: Slaw has become a beacon for what Canadian law blogs have to offer.   Runner ups: Law is Cool, Precedent.

4) Non-Legal Audience Award goes to Connie Crosby for her combination of blog and micro-blog (ie Twitter). Twitter became an important tool for many bloggers in 2008, frequently pushing those of us in the legal field beyond our industry base. With more than 2300 followers, Connie has not only led the way in Canada, but possibly for the entire legal industry. Her network is not only large in volume but extremely varied and influential.

5) Friend of the North Awards – This award is intended to recognize US bloggers that look north of the border to network and exchange ideas. This year, I’d like to recognize Mary Abraham who hasn’t lost her Canadian roots despite working for a New York megafirm, and re-recognize Doug Cornelius. Both were not only deserving of a ‘Friend of the North’ Award, but actually submitted nominations!

6) EuroCan Connection Awards – This award was envisioned to recognize some of our European law blog friends who frequently highlight and link to Canadian law blogs. In 2008, Charon QC reached out to many Canadian law bloggers, myself included. The work he did late in the year creating a Canadian Law Blog Pageflake just sealed the deal.  Runner Up: Our 2007 winner Nick Holmes became an occasional contributor to Slaw in 2008, and earns a finalist nod this year for doing so.

7) Practice Management Award – (TIE) Knowing the mutual respect between Dave Bilinsky and Jordan Furlong, I’m sure they won’t mind sharing the prize in this category. If you read both these blogs, you’ll recognize that they are valued for different reasons. Law21 is much more about vision and challenging ideas. It’s very thought provoking. Conversely, Thoughtful Legal Management often reflects the voice of experience, and Dave’s work in the trenches. If you speak to PMAs around North Americal you get the sense of respect they have for Dave. He’s a pioneer and they listen. If you’re looking to tap into Canadian perspectives on practice management, you’d be well advised to subscribe to both.

8) Law Librarian Blog Award – 2008 is the year we expand our radar in this category, and note the great blogging being done by the Edmonton Association of Law Libraries.  With a number of contributing members, this blog looks to be evolving into a must read for Canadian law librarians. If it isn’t on your reading list already, be sure to follow in 2009! Runner ups: Call KM Blog, BC Courthouse Library Society What’s New Blog.

9) Best Legal Technology Blog – (TIE) This may seem a bit odd, but this award is a tie between Slaw and the great big gap in Canadian legal technology blogs. We web-geeks may be plentiful over at Slaw, but what Canada really needs is a few Mac Lawyers or iPhone JDs.  Or even a run of the mill (but competent & unbiased) legal technologist.  So let it be known, the gauntlet has been dropped for 2009!

10) Best New Law Blog Award – (TIE) Doorey’s Workplace Law Blog was the easy pick in this category. It’s very well written, read, and was recognized with multiple nominations. If you practice employment or labour law in Canada, this blog is off to a great start and well worth the read. The tie portion of this category is because of an innovative non-lawyer named Laurie Mapp. Laurie’s company blog Halo Secretarial Blog helps support an entire new industry of virtual legal assistants. She’s found her voice in this new blog, and is getting some well deserved recognition both north & south of the border.  Runners up: Megawatt, Ontario Condo Law Blog

11) Law Professor Blog Award – (TIE) Perhaps it’s a testament to the value of blogging at Osgoode Hall, but both Doorey’s Workplace Law Blog and The Court were big vote getters in our new nomination process. A number of law librarians also commented that these blogs offered content that was worthy of forwarding to practitioners. Case law reviews and commentary may not be glitzy, but if blogging is to hold any kind of stature within academia, these two entries look like the might lead the way. Runner up: University of Alberta Faculty of Law Blog.

And that’s it!  My apologies for glaring omissions or unintended bias. Please be sure you’re on lawblogs.ca to be considered in 2009!

19 Responses to “2008 CLawBies – Canadian Law Blog Awards”

  • […] 2008 Canadian Law Blog Awards are now live on Clawbies.ca. Congratulations to the winners, and even more so, to all those who […]

  • Steve, I’m just stunned. To receive a CLawBie of any kind is a huge honour — to receive the top one, in the midst of such an amazing array of excellent blogs and talented bloggers throughout Canada, is unbelievable. My immense, sincere thanks to you, and to anyone who suggested Law21 for an award!

    I want to send my heartfelt congratulations to all the CLawBie recipients, most especially Slaw, which sets the standard for this country’s law bloggers. The Canadian blawgosphere is vibrant and expanding, and I’m very proud and privileged to be part of it. Many thanks again!

  • Wow–I am extremely honoured to join past winner Rob Hyndman in this category. I congratulate all the other winners and nominees, and hope we will see even more law bloggers joining us in the coming weeks, months and years.

    Thanks to Steve and all those who helped with nominations!


  • […] have received recognition in the Best Practitioner Support Blog category of the 2008 ClawBies, won by Clark Wilson’s Canadian Trademark […]

  • Steve:

    Many thanks for the 2008 Clawbie! To be placed in the same company as Jordan Furlong is a high honour indeed!

    I wanted to say congratulations to all the nominees and winners – knowing what it takes to keep a blog going day in and day out – my praise for your work goes out to every one of you. Being nominated itself is a huge recognition of the time and effort that all of you have put into your blogs. The Canadian blog community is being recognized not just nationally but internationally for its high standards, its collegiality and great work. I know that this ensures that everyone is working to world class standards!

    Lastly I wanted to say thanks to Steve Matthews – for creating these awards, for keeping them going and knowing that he is ineligible for any of them since he administers them! His blogs and his work on the web ranks shoulder to shoulder with the best of them – indeed I would say he stands in a class all his own – and these awards are another example of his contribution to this community. I can only hope that I can follow his lead and , in turn, ‘pay it forward’ in some small fashion.

    Many thanks and Happy New Year!

    Dave Bilinsky

  • No surprise here, Jordan definitely deserves it.

    Congrats all.

  • Steve:

    Thanks so much for including me in this year’s Clawbies. It’s an honour and delight to be a Friend of the North. As I said in my blog post nominating Canadian blogs, the excellence of the people and the content north of the 49th parallel provides great incentive to stay in touch with Canadian blawggers.

    Here’s to another year of productive blogging and scintillating conversation (online and in person) in the blawgging community on either side of the border.

    Happy New Year!


  • […] Legal Management) for the Practice Management Award, in the 2008 edition of Steve Matthews‘ CLawBie Awards for Canadian legal blogging. It’s just a huge compliment when measured against the remarkable breadth and quality of the […]

  • What a great list! Well-deserved recognition for some great blogs and, perhaps more important, pointers to more great blogs to add to our RSS readers.

    The Clawbies definitely reinforce my sense that 2008 was the year of Canadian law-related blogging. What I’m really waiting for, however, is for the Canadian bloggers moving into podcasting. All of the Canadian bloggers I’ve met are great story-tellers and I’d greatly enjoy hearing them on podcasts.

    Congratulations to all!


  • What a great list filled with quality bloggers. Keep up the good work everyone!

  • […] report that this blog has been selected as the “Best Practitioner Support Blog” in the 2008 Clawbies – the Canadian Law Blog Awards.  We are delighted to be recognized for our efforts, particularly given the number of excellent […]

  • […] delighted and humbled to announce that our blog was named a runner-up for the Best New Law Blog category. This is a great honour considering the calibre of the award winners and the many other outstanding new blogs.
    Kudos to Steve Matthews for showcasing some of the incredible talent in Canadian law blogging and congratulations to all of the winners, finalists and participants in this year’s CLawBies[…]

  • David Doorey says:

    Thanks Steve! Two CLAWBIES in one year! It’s all downhill from here, I might as well quit now and leave on a high note. Congrats to all my fellow bloggers out there. Now, if I can only figure out how to make that little CLAWbie icon appear on my blog, I could impress my daughter. Happy new year. David

  • […] Another Canadian blog to satisfy lust for knowledge across the pond is the excellent Slaw blog. While I dwell on Canada – there are many good blogs there.  I am adding to the list regularly – but here, on a Pageflake of Canadian blogs, is a snapshot of the blogs I have found so far.  On the subject of Canadian blogs it would be impossible not to mention the tireless Steve Matthews who really does know what is going on with his Stem Legal and Vancouver Law Librarian blogs. It was a pleasure to receive a *Clawbie* this year and here is a full list of Clawbie winners. […]

  • Steve

    Thanks a bunch for the honour of #2 in your EuroCan Connection category.

    Keep up the good work.


  • Thanks Steve!

    A winner two years in a row. Can you say dynasty?

  • […] No tears at this awards ceremony… only surprise and thanks! Here are some of the responses from the winners and runners up of the 2008 CLawBies: […]

  • […] Matthews (CLawBies and Vancouver Law […]