The legal blogger shall inherit…

Updated x 2 | Alex Aldridge has written an excellent and very comprehensive article about the rise and rise of UK legal blogging on Legalweek.com.

The article is worth reading in full, as it highlights the strong growth of the legal blog in the past few years, and interviews a number of key legal bloggers. He says of the “new wave” of legal blogs which have appeared over the past couple of years:

Then, over the last couple of years, a new wave of law blogs has appeared. Characterised by an interest in media law, this group includes Jack of KentCRITique (by law firm Charles Russell), Inforrm (from the International Forum for Responsible Media), the UK Supreme Court Blog (run jointly by Olswang and Matrix Chambers), the UK Human Rights Blog (by 1 Crown Office Row) and Bootlaw (by Winston & Strawn technology lawyers Barry Vitou and Danvers Baillieu).

He also interviewed legal commentator Joshua Rozenberg, who

sees the emergence of these blogs as a response to the decline in more specialist legal coverage by national newspapers like The Telegraph, which no longer has a designated legal correspondent, andThe Times, whose legal coverage is no longer freely available since its introduction this year of an online pay wall. He comments: “The newspapers don’t provide the service they did [in the past], so the law firms and chambers have moved in, with the likes of the UK Supreme Court Blog and the UK Human Rights Blog particularly impressive examples.”

Many thanks for the kind words! We at the UK Human Rights Blog have been astounded by the response to our blog in its first six months, and certainly feel that the legal blogosphere, and the increasing interaction between bloggers (see for example this post on Inforrm), has been a positive development for the legal community and may even be keeping people a little bit better informed.

Aldridge ends by providing a “Blawger role of honour”, which is reproduced below and I agree with wholeheartedly:

5RB – Chambers website that doubles as a highly-rated media law blog.

BabyBarista – Fictional insider account of life at the Bar, running since 2006 and made into a book, Law and Disorder, last year. In adapting a Bridget Jones-style comical account to the law, author Tim Kevan arguably invented a new sub-genre that has sparked a number of imitators. The blog is now hosted by The Guardian website.

Bootlaw – Barry Vitou and Danvers Baillieu, lawyers in Winston & Strawn’s London office, blog about legal issues affecting tech start-ups – with regular associated meet-ups.

Charon QC – When he’s not indulging in surreal musings, former BPP Law School co-founder Mike Semple Piggot applies his legal education expertise to the latest issues.

China Law Blog – Daily updates on doing business in China from Dan Harris, founding partner of Seattle-based law firm Harris & Moure, assisted by on-the-ground insight from China-based Steve Dickinson. One of the best blogs from practising commercial lawyers.

Corporate Law and Governance – One of the few corporate law-themed blogs in the UK. This site, from Robert Goddard, senior lecturer in law at Aston Business School, is frequently updated and backed up by accessible writing and intelligent use of links. City law firms could pick up a few useful lessons for their websites.

CRITique – Charles Russell partner Andrew Sharpe blogs on telecoms, IT and data protection.

Head of Legal – Former government lawyer Carl Gardner writes about public law, European Union law and human rights. At its best, a distinctive and contrarian view on some big issues.

In-House Lawyer – Reflections on life as a lawyer in a company from Melanie Hatton, head of legal and company secretary at Latitude Digital Marketing.

Inforrm – Media law news and analysis from the International Forum for Responsible Media.

The IPKat – Long-running, frequently-updated and generally admired intellectual property (IP) blog, led by professor Jeremy Phillips, a consultant to Olswang’s IP team.

Jack of Kent – Rationalist exploration of high-profile cases by Preiskel & Co media lawyer David Allen Green. Widely regarded as the blog that has done the most to show what the format can do in the legal space by marrying technical grasp of the law with genuine accessibility and a feel for the dynamics of public policy.

Magic Circle Minx – An anonymous associate lifts the lid on City life – and her quest for love. Visually polished and executed in the BabyBarista style.

ObiterJ – A regularly-updated and wide-ranging blog on issues of legal policy and criminal law.

OUT-LAW – Slick, professional and opinionated blog from Pinsent Masons providing free legal news and guidance, mostly on IT and e-commerce issues, since 2000. Run, full-time, by Pinsents lawyer Struan Robertson and journalist Matthew Magee. Highly regarded.

UK Human Rights Blog – Legal updates from 1 Crown Office Row chambers via a three-strong barrister editorial team.

UK Supreme Court Blog (UKSC Blog) – Frequently-updated analysis of judgments and related news supplied by Olswang and Matrix Chambers. Has won some senior admirers.

Update, 25 October 2010: Inforrm’s Blog has also posted an excellent guide to legal blogging: Blogging the Law in the UK: an introductory guide. Inforrm highlight the importance of Bailii, which provides free online judgments. I agree that without Bailii, there wouldn’t be much to blog about as most UK court judgments would be inaccessible except through subscription services. Bailii provides the raw material which legal bloggers can (and do) comment upon. Inforrm also provides its own blawg ‘role of honour’.

And a notable absence… One notable absence from the Legalweek and Inforrm articles is Pink Tape, an informative blog written under cover of anonymity  by a family law barrister.

And another… Not forgetting Nearly Legal, which is practically a granddaddy in the legal blogging game and provides an amazing level of quality free housing law commentary. Coming soon, a genuinely comprehensive (!) list of legal blogs with no notable absences.

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