2007 CLawBies – Canadian Law Blog Awards

I had a lot of fun producing the 2006 list of my favourite Canadian Law Blogs. And while there’s a long-term plan to produce a full scale awards with nominations & voting – hence the new domain CLawBies.ca – this wasn’t the year to do so.

Once again, I’d like to thank our fun loving award making counterparts down south – namely Dennis Kennedy’s Blawggies, the ABA’s top 100 list, and even Honest Ed’s non-ego boosting “peer review” effort ;) And congratulations to every Canadian law blogger. We’re a community because you take part! Here are my 2nd edition of the CLawBie awards. Enjoy!

1) Best Canadian Law Blog (or Blogger) Award: (TIE) Rob HyndmanRob was key to the success of Canada’s Mesh conference. Who else can take a couple months off blogging and sustain the demand for his digital voice? We watch Rob. (TIE) Michael Geist – As many have said before, Geist is a leader on the Canadian copyright front. In 2007, Geist pushed more than 35k facebook members to a copyright group. A copyright group? Ya, no kidding.  Runner up: Slaw (another monster year).
2) Best Practitioner Support BlogGarry Wise – Year-in and year-out, Garry is one committed law blogger. He offers his opinions on almost everything, and if you do a Google search for Toronto lawyer you’ll see how blogging benefits the online exposure of his practice. If you didn’t read his Starting a law firm post back in February, please do. Garry Wise consistently offers great vision to a lot of solos across the country. Runner ups: David Fraser’s Canadian Privacy Law Blog, Hull & Hull’s Toronto Estate Law Blog
3) Legal Culture AwardLawisCool.com This group of Canadian law student bloggers has offered up some great commentary in ’07, and often some of the fastest coverage out there. Not afraid to voice an opinion, and lots of fun! Runner up: Precedent (going from blog to magazine!).

4) My Non-Legal Audience Award again goes to Rob Hyndman – Mesh was an imposing presence on Rob’s life for many months, but I’m sure he’d agree it was a fantastic initiative for driving online relationships. More people know Rob Hyndman in ’07 than they did in ’06. And you can watch his hockey stick popularity go up even further in 2008.

5) Friend of the North Awards – Getting US bloggers to link into Canada is never easy. I’m not entirely sure why, but recognizing those that do freely exchange ideas south-to-north remains important. The web is international and Canadians need to be in the mix. So like last year, I’d like to recognize two bloggers that do so: Jason Eiseman and Doug Cornelius are both deserving of a ‘Friend of the North’ Award for frequently reading, commenting and linking to Canadian Blogs. Thanks guys!

6) EuroCan Connection Awards – By the same notion, European law bloggers (who frequently link into Canada) are also extremely important. Our 2007 euro-blogging friends were Nick Holmes of Infolaw and Lo-Fi librarian. Thanks to both of you! Runner Up: Scott Vine was also in there in ’07, but I gave him an award last year. ;)

7) Practice Management Award – Big movement in this category in 2007. The west-coast trio of Dave Bilinsky, Doug Jasinski, and Allison Wolf are all managing to make some great headway for our Canadian practice management category.

8) Law Librarian Blog Award – (TIE) Michel-Adrien Sheppard’s Library Boy. Michel-Adrien had another outstanding year, but also worthy in ’07 were the efforts of the BC Courthouse Library Society What’s New Blog. At least here in BC, no one monitors things closer and reports quicker than the BCCLS. Runner up: Connie Crosby (Connie’s blog is a must for anyone entertaining aspects of the social web in their library).

9) Best Legal Technology Blog – This is easy & yes I’m biased: Slaw. Sporting a new re-design late in the calendar year, Slaw attracted more readers in 2007, had more comments and trackbacks than ever, and continues to diversify its network of contributors. That all adds up to another fantastic year.

10) Best New Law Blog AwardOsgoode Hall’s The Court was easily the most important new Canadian law blog in 2007.  Spearheaded by Slaw’s Simon Fodden, this group of law student editors is working hard to become the equivalent of the SCOTUS blog in the US.  They’ve now got a full 12 months under their belt, and it’s hard to argue they aren’t.  Runners up: Dave Bilinsky’s Thoughtful Law,  Human Rights in the Workplace, and All About Information.

11) Law Professor Blog AwardUniversity of Alberta Faculty of Law Blog. Like last year, I still feel this category is under represented in Canada, but the new UofA blog was a great addition. This blog is timely and well written. A first class effort!  Runner ups: Jeremy De Beer , Vincent Gautais

guarantee I’ve missed lots of great Canadian legal voices, and my apologies for glaring omissions. And like last year, check your egos at the door, ’cause blog awards (even these ones!) mean nothing… But they are fun! Make sure you’re on my list for 2008!

2006 CLawBies – Canada Law Blog Awards

First published on the Vancouver Law Librarian Blog on December 29, 2006:

There’s no doubt that Canadian Law blogs were on a roll in 2006. Our online voices have made inroads into the US blogosphere, and we’ve established great connections with European law blogs. So in the spirit of the Blawggies & the Blawg Review awards, here’s my inaugural edition of the CLawBies. Enjoy!

1) Best Canadian Law Blog (or Blogger) Award: Michael Geist – Simply put, Michael Geist is the most influential of Canadian law bloggers. He’s the epitome of a thought leader, and our Canadian equivalent to Lawrence Lessig. And that’s saying something. Runner ups: Rob Hyndman, Simon Chester.

2) Best Practitioner Support Blog – No question on this one. If you track privacy law in Canada, you read David Fraser’s Canadian Privacy Law Blog. David must also be Canada’s most dedicated blogger. His work is as close to exhaustive as a blog can deliver. And did I mention David’s selection as a 2006 Outstanding Young Canadian? Runner ups: eLegal Canton, Alan Gahtan’s Technology and Internet Law Blog

3) Legal Culture AwardPrecedent: The New Rules of Law and Style. Melissa Kluger’s mix of law firm issues, fashion advice, and legal news worthy controversy is one of a kind in Canada. The tabloid approach to law blogs may soon be upon us, but we can take comfort that Precedent is doing it right – with class and humour.

4) My Non-Legal Audience Award goes to Rob Hyndman – Law bloggers constantly talk about engaging non-legal audiences, Rob Hyndman does it. The ‘A-list’ Technology bloggers read & comment on Rob’s posts like he’s one of the family. Why? Probably because better than any other Canadian law blogger, Rob understands his blog as a voice. He engages and converses where others simply opine. New law bloggers should take note.

5) Friend of the North Awards – Blogging is international, and keeping the north-south idea flow is important. So I’m recognizing Kevin O’Keefe and Dennis Kennedy with the first ‘Friend of the North’ Awards — given to a US law blogger that actively reads and links to Canadian law blogs.

6) EuroCan Connection Awards – In a similar vein, European law bloggers are also very important to making our Canadian voices heard. Leading the way in 2006, I thought, were these three blogs: Information Overlord, ServiceDoc Info and Markenblog. A big and regular thanks to each of them.

7) Practice Management Award – I didn’t think there was a worthy Canadian in this category, but a new entry is about to add a substantial Canadian voice to this blogging genre. Allison Wolf’s The Lawyer Coach Blog is very new, but very good. So trust me on this one, take her feed, and watch it soar in 2007.

8) Law Librarian Blog AwardMichel-Adrien Sheppard’s Library Boy. Michel-Adrien has had an outstanding year, breaking stories faster than almost everyone. He’s constantly relaying content that Librarians can rely on. Runner ups: BCCLS What’s New Blog, Connie Crosby. (Of note… I’m excluding the VLLB from this and all other Award categories.)

9) Best Legal Technology Blog – I’m biased on this one, but Slaw is world class. From Jordan Furlong’s guest blogging, to the Marshall Rothstein SCC appointment, to the Grey Lit theme week, Slaw is the context behind legal technology. 2006 was a mighty fine year, and I’m proud to be a part.

10) Best New Law Blog Award – Lots of great new Canadian law blogs, and way too tough to call anything but a tie here: Vincent Gautais, Atlanteknology, Precedent, and the Canadian Trademark Blog*. (*Disclosure: While I’ve disqualified the VLLB, the content coming out of the CTB is top notch. So I think this one’s justified, despite my involvement.)

11) Law Professor Blog AwardUniversity of Toronto Law School Faculty Blog. This category is still under represented in Canada, and the UofT blog could bump up their posting frequency, but this initiative is definitely a quality effort. Let’s hope that 2007 will bring out more Canadian law professor blogs! Runner ups: Vincent Gautais, Michael Geist

I know I’ve missed a number of great Canadian voices, and my apologies for any glaring omissions. Plus, this really is all in fun! Make sure you’re on my list for 2007!