The 2015 Clawbie Awards for best law blogs in Canada

Winners have been announced for the 10th annual Clawbie Awards for best law blogs in Canada. See the December 31 announcement and list of winners.

A few thoughts from the Clawbies:

What started out as a handful of Canadian blawgs in 2006 is a vibrant population of more than 500 today. Blogs in law have grown from niche oddities to mainstream legal marketing mainstays; the question asked of law firms today isn’t “Why are you blogging?” but rather, “Where’s your blog?”

Blogs have prospered throughout the legal profession worldwide: the ABA Journal’s Blawg 100 (which launched a year after the Clawbies) is now a veritable institution for the legal profession south of the border. Yet blogs have also become something of a victim of their success: many have now been folded into law firms’ publishing machinery, merged with electronic newsletters, or converted into LinkedIn and Facebook updates. Like many innovations before them, blogs have been adopted into the operations of law firms and are now considered just another way to attract clients.

The legal world is a lot different today than it was in 2006, and so is the legal blog world. What used to be a small community is now a crowded city, and it’s harder than ever to stand out and make yourself heard in such a busy marketplace of ideas and voices. Many veteran blawggers lament what feels like the loss of law blogs’ early idealism and charm. Expectations are also higher now for the look, feel, and quality of law blogs than they used to be. On balance, we think that these developments are natural, inevitable, and not necessarily all that bad.

Before we proceed to relate the winners of our 10th annual Clawbies, we wanted to reassert the importance of law blogs for individual lawyers, for the business of law firms, and for the people and businesses lawyers serve. The Clawbies have never had a specific checklist of criteria against which nominees are judged. But we believe very strongly that the best law blogs have always answered, and still answer today, to four key characteristics.

  • They are practical, offering implementable insights and real-world solutions for readers more than airy reflections on the state of the law.
  • They are genuine, delivering the authentic voice and actual opinions of the lawyers who write them.
  • They are conversational, engaging the reader as an interested and intelligent observer who has as much to contribute as she has to learn.
  • They are about improving the legal system, either by expanding the knowledge base of citizens and clients or making law better for society.

These are the standards against which we’ve always tried to measure the most deserving Clawbies candidates, and once again this year, we’ve had no shortage of worthy nominees who tick most if not all of these boxes. Without further ado, we are very proud to announce the winners of the 2015 Clawbie Awards for the best law blogs in Canada!