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Well, it’s near the end of 2018 and time for my annual list of the best legal blogs for in-house counsel. This is my fourth list, a tradition starting in 2015. In case you’re curious, here are my past lists for 2015, 2016, and 2017. I still highly recommend the legal blogs listed in those posts, but since I like to keep finding new blogs there will once again be no repeat “winners.” Before we get to it, I did want to take a moment to say thank you to all of you readers of this legal blog. I have been writing “Ten Things” for over four years and we are now at over 3,100 subscribers. I know I have said this before, but never in my wildest dreams did I think this blog would be that popular. And most of all, I really appreciate it when any of you take the time to drop me a note or post a comment! So, thanks for reading and for passing the blog along to others. Also, as always, I am tremendously impressed by the number of bloggers out there and the great content they generate (the ABA released its best blogs list for 2018 last week). If I can help shine a spotlight on the talented writers below, that’s pretty neat too. Alright, enough gabbing, let’s get to the blogs. Here are my choices for the ten best legal blogs for in-house lawyers for 2018:
1. Contract Corner. The Contract Corner blog has quickly become one of my favorites. I really enjoy the easy-to-read and practical contract drafting advice. The writers published a handy “anthology” post at the end of 2017 that lists all of the posts/topics to date (sounds familiar…). There are many posts from this blog that I have saved to use with future contract drafting projects. My only complaint? Post more frequently. A+ to these guys!
2. Customs and International Trade Law. If your company has business overseas, then it is likely impacted by customs rules and trade law. The Customs and International Trade blog covers this complicated area of the law in a thorough and easy-to-read manner. It covers customs law, international trade law, food and cosmetics law, product licensing and related intellectual property issue. On the home page, there is a really useful index of topics on the right-hand side showing issues like BIS, Cuba, Export/Import, and many other categories.
3. Future Lawyer. The Future Lawyer blog covers my favorite topic – technology! More specifically, how lawyers can use technology in their day-to-day work. Recent posts deal with topics such as 5G vs. 4G, how lawyers can use Alexa, and whether virtual reality is dangerous. Sadly, the author uses typepad as the host for the blog which means the site is a bit clunky. But, the content is great.
4. Trademarkology. I know just enough about trademarks to know I need to call someone if I have a question. But, Trademarkology may change that. The stated goal of the blog is to help you select a brand name or logo by providing insight on how others have selected and protected their brands. They also hope to convince you of the power and value of obtaining federal trademark registration for all your brand names. All worthy goals for sure. They also toss in a bit of humor which I appreciate, e.g. a recent post entitled “Does Ohio State Own the O?” Hmmm.
5. Antitrust Alert. In law school I swore off anything to do with antitrust law and tax law. Ironically, a big chunk of my in-house career forced me into dealing with both. Yep, it was as crappy as it sounds. The Antitrust Alert blog is a great resource for those who wallow in antitrust issues or – like me – are forced into the quicksand on occasion. The blog covers issues involving US, EU, China, and other international antitrust laws.
6. Lowering the Bar. Sometimes, in-house lawyers just need a laugh or two to make the day (or year) go faster. Lowering the Bar delivers. It reminds me of The Onion only these headlines are real! Kevin Underhill must have blast sifting through the news around the globe to find the dumbest and funniest incidents involving lawyers or the law. Some of my favorite headlines:
- “Officials Uncertain Whether National Soccer Team was Fake or Just Untalented”
- “Worst Robbers in Belgium Agree to Come Back at Closing Time”
- “Clown-Suited Blackmailer on Tiny Trike Gets Prison”
7. European Law Blog. I have also spent a good part of my career dealing with EU issues and entities. Again, not something I thought I’d be doing coming out of law school. The European Law blog focuses exclusively on EU case law and regulations and is written by leading academics and law partners with expertise in EU legal issues. If you’ve ever dealt with TUPE or DG Comp or, of course, GDPR, this blog is a great resource.
8. Deal Lawyers. Damn. I wish I had known about the Deal Lawyers blog years ago. It is a truly superior resource for any in-house lawyer involved in M&A transactions. The only potential drawback is that it’s pricey to subscribe to it (though there is a free trial period available). This means it’s probably something only those who do a lot of transactions will find worthwhile. Even so, in addition to the great content visible on the website, the authors give eight reasons why you should consider subscribing:
- Practical guidance.
- Loads of expert advice.
- The most timely news.
- Specialized areas of content.
- Sample document library.
- Interactive Q&A forum.
- Deal U. workshop.
- M&A litigation corner.
9. AI Tech. I have become very interested in artificial intelligence and how it might impact the life of in-house lawyers. But, of course, the topic is far broader than that narrow interest. I have begun reading the AI Tech blog which covers what you need to know about artificial intelligence and its impact in the legal world and the real world. Topics range from Intellectual Property to Ethics to Employment. If you have a question about AI, it’s likely the answer can be found here.
10. Engadget. Okay, it’s not really a legal blog, but Engadget covers something I really enjoy – gadgets! And since most in-house lawyers need a gadget or two from time-to-time, it’s a great blog for in-house lawyers. Engadget covers the gadget landscape, from video gaming to cars to cool tech. It even has a great “Buyer’s Guide” section – currently featuring a story on how to select the best laptop backpack.
Well, that’s it for my picks for the best legal blogs of 2018. Hopefully, you’ll check some of these out over the holidays and one or two will be worth your time to check with regularly or subscribe to. If anyone reading this has a favorite legal blog, please share that with me and/or the other readers. This is also my last blog post of 2018. I want to wish everyone all the best for the holiday season and I am really looking forward to 2019 and Year Five of Ten Things You Need to Know as In-House Counsel. Thanks for reading, stay safe, and see you in January!
December 13, 2018
My third book was released this month. It’s called The Slow-Cooker Savant. Yep, it’s a cookbook. Just one of my hobbies. You can buy it here on Amazon.com or at SterlingMillerBooks.com. Perfect gift for the holidays!
Follow me on Twitter @10ThingsLegal and LinkedIn where I post articles and stories of interest to in-house counsel frequently. I also provide consulting, free-lance drafting, and coaching for individuals and legal departments.
“Ten Things” is not legal advice nor legal opinion and represents my views only. It is intended to provide practical tips and references to the busy in-house practitioner and other readers. If you have questions or comments, please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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