ABA Blawg 100…And the rise of the personal injury law blogs

I’ve been chosen by the ABA Journal for the second year in a row as part of its Blawg 100, the 100 best law blogs as decided by their editorial staff. That’s nice. I’m deeply flattered to be in such company. They’ve placed me in the “Geo” category if you are inclined to vote in these types of things. And it would be nice if you were so inclined.

But two other things about the list are worth noting: Its metamorphosis over the course of its three-year run with respect to personal injury blogs, and the fact that inclusion (or exclusion) isn’t something to brag about too much.

First, let’s look at the changes from Year 1. In the 2007 inaugural issue there were no personal injury blogs — none, nada, zippo — a subject that I wrote about and caught the attention of others (ABA Blawg 100 Gets The Conversation Going). Many niches were excluded. At that time I noted several worthy personal injury blogs:

It’s not a question of one blog being picked over another since this is, after all, just another vanity contest that small niche blogs don’t have a shot of winning. No, the significant thing is that the vaunted American Bar Association simply doesn’t think that this field of law is relevant. The decision to ignore a vast segment of the law speaks volumes about the organization.

In Year 2, 50 of the initial selections were replaced, and there were now two personal injury related blogs, this one and Drug and Device Law.  Nice to be included and nice to see that this substantial area of law was no longer being ignored by the ABA.

And now this year there are six, count ‘em six, different law blogs that are related to the personal injury field. In addition to mine, the ABA has selected:

Addendum: And if you include the Namby Pamby Attorney’s comic rants, there are seven.

(If you go back and look at my 2007 post on the subject, by the way, you will see that D&D, Marler, and Schaeffer are all on my list of who should be included. The PopTort and Hochfelder blogs didn’t yet exist.)

So six out of 100 is pretty fair representation. Well done, ABA Journal.

But…there were many notable blogs that aren’t on the list. Just perusing my blog roll, for instance, Overlawyered and Lowering the Bar really jump out at me. What happened?

I have to assume that cutting the list to 100 is a pretty tough job — they want both big and small, profs and practitioners, regional and national, quirky and serious — and that part of the problem is trying to put blogs into categories. I’m in the “Geo” category, for instance, and that befits the name of this tiny corner of the web, despite the fact I go elsewhere often. I stretch that definition often to include attorney marketing, judiciary issues, ethics, and related subjects.

So here is what I think the ABA did to solve the problem. They narrowed the list of 2,000 – 3,000 law blogs down to about 150-200. Then they printed out the names of each one on a piece of paper, removed Above the Law and Volokh to make sure they made the cut, and chucked the rest at a staircase. Those that landed on the top stairs were stuffed into the ABA categories.

Now one last item, if I still have your attention. Voting. Its worth noting that when you go to vote in this beauty pageant, you can vote for all the PI blogs, even if we are in the same category. You get 10 votes, and you can spread them out any way you wish. So I say vote for all the PI blogs.

Last year I came in second in the regional category to the China Law Blog, which really isn’t fair given the relative populations of New York and China. Also, Dan Harris over at China Law Blog was begging for votes like there was no tomorrow, and is doing the same thing today at his blog and repeatedly on Twitter.  I won’t beg, the way he does. I’ll just give you a picture of my chief supporter, Paris Hilton. Now really, is it any contest as to who you would vote for?

Links to this post:

December 7 roundup
Woman jailed for “camcordering” after recording four minutes of sister’s birthday party in movie theater [BoingBoing]; Senate hearing airs trial lawyer gripes against Iqbal [Jackson and earlier, PoL, Wajert, Beck & Herrmann (scroll)]
posted by Walter Olson @ December 07, 2009 9:56 AM

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5 Responses Leave a comment

  • The Namby Pamby 2009.12.4 at 11:47 | Quote

    I didn’t need Paris to be convinced to vote for you. The spot on your blogroll did that :)

    As an addendum, I’d like to think that I am the comic relief PI blogger….but that’s just my take.

  • Eric Turkewitz 2009.12.4 at 12:02 | Quote

    As an addendum, I’d like to think that I am the comic relief PI blogger….but that’s just my take.

    And the post has now been duly addendumized.

  • Bill Marler 2009.12.4 at 18:09 | Quote

    I voted for Paris –errr You

  • Jemour 2009.12.5 at 18:30 | Quote

    Congratulations!

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