The 2011 Canadian Law Blog Awards (the Clawbies) nomination season closed yesterday – but, happily, I was able to tweet my nominations last week. Steve Matthews maintains a running list of nominations, and though I’m beyond the deadline, I’d like to take the chance to explain further the reasons for the selection of my nominees.
- Condo Reporter. This is a repeat from my list of nominees for the 2010 Clawbies, but I can’t think of a blog more deserving of recognition than Heenan Blaikie’s Condo Reporter. I am consistently impressed by the efforts of the HB Condominium Legal Team – Condo Reporter offers informative content updated on a relentless schedule, from a variety of contributors. I may be biased because I own a condo, but I almost always learn something new when there’s a CR update, so I genuinely look forward to seeing their name pop up in my Google Reader. What makes CR even more impressive is that they’re contributing to a blawging niche which already has numerous other Canadian providers – but I think, and not just because they’re colleagues, that CR remains the best of the condo law blawgs. It’s also one of the best-looking blogs I’ve come across, with a pleasing colour-scheme and great use of photos to supplement posts.
- Workplace Wire. Yes, another Heenan Blaikie blog, but there’s no nepotism here: a blog which provides as much information, on such a consistently updated basis, from so many contributors, and manages to make interesting to this reader an area of law for which I otherwise have no affinity, richly deserves recognition. Even better, Workplace Wire manages to inject some personality into their coverage of labour, employment and pension law – I can expect to find critical assessments of the state of the law and judicial/tribunal decisions, a welcome change of pace from the fate which awaits many big firm blawgs.
- Wise Law Blog. In my 2010 Clawbie nominations, I avoided heaping praise on what I viewed as the “pillars” of the Canadian law blogging community – I’m waiving that approach when it comes to Garry J. Wise. In what I have learned is his trade-mark understated manner, Garry is one of the leaders of the Canadian blawging community, and while he is reluctant to sing his own praises, I’m happy to do so (even though Garry’s the one with the singing and songwriting chops). I had the pleasure of co-promoting the January 2011 blogstravaganza with Garry (there were even more attendees than are reflected in that picture which Omar had the foresight to take and post), and Garry was gracious enough to ask me to participate in the LSUC Ethical Considerations in an Age of Technology CPD programs which Garry chaired. I knew Garry was a macher in the Toronto law blogging community, but it was with that LSUC program that I got to see him in action: he put together a program which was a massive success, attracting something north of 4,000 online attendees, resulting in a flood of Twitter commentary (#LSUCethics) and prompting dozens upon dozens of questions from viewers. I said it when I first met Garry in person and I’ll repeat it now: what makes Garry one of the best Canadian blawgers (which, given the variety of online platforms he uses is probably a little too constricting of a term) is that he is willing to make his online presence unashamedly and undilutedly him. Whether through his blog, his Twitter feed (@wiselaw) or his YouTube contributions, you’re never going to mistake what you’re getting for someone else’s “voice” – creative, political, thoughtful, funny, Garry provides dispositive evidence that lawyers with an online presence don’t need to be bland, buttoned-down or afraid to let their personalities shine through.
To echo what I said in 2010, 2011 continued to be a great time to be a reader of Canadian law blogs, and here’s hoping that continues into 2012 (and beyond).