America Borders on the Magnificent

“America Borders on the Magnificent” was the tag line of a brilliant series of posters promoting travel to Canada in the 1980s.  I proudly displayed these posters on my dorm walls and loved the look on the faces of my US classmates when the meaning of that tag line finally dawned on them.  I was reminded of the truth of that tag line as I carried out my annual review of the magnificent Canadian legal blogging scene in preparation for this post nominating blogs for the 2010 Canadian Law Blog Awards (the CLawBies). Started in 2006, these awards recognize bloggers relevant to the Canadian legal blogosphere.  The nominees ran the gamut from well-established blogging icons to newbies in need of an encouraging word.  In each case, the nominations and awards have been handled in a typically Canadian fashion — with warmth, generosity and modesty.

Since I have readers on both side of the border, I’m hopeful that this post will remind my readers in more southernly  climes that casting their reading nets up north can yield some rich results.  There truly are some fantastic bloggers between the 49th parallel and Alaska. To get a sense of the full range of Canadian blogs available, take a look at the Canadian Law Blogs List maintained by Stem Legal.  For a quick sample, here are my nominations for the 2010 CLawBies:

  • David Ma offers a nice blend of legal insights and practical technology advice on Techblawg.  While the black letter law he discusses may not be as helpful south of the border, lawyers and non-lawyers alike will be grateful for his guidance on common technical challenges such as handling the fall-out of the end of Delicious.
  • The writers at Blogosaurus Lex aim high. Sponsored by Alberta’s Legal Resource Centre, their goal is to speed public education about the law.  Their posts are practical and written in plain English.  This is entirely in keeping with what they call their Guiding Ideal:  “Law plays an essential role in the maintenance of a democracy. It is a bulwark against tyranny and a mechanism for advancing the cause of justice. Public legal education is, therefore, fundamentally, citizenship education that ensures that the public understands and supports the rule of law, makes effective use of the justice system, and engages effectively in ensuring the system meets the changing needs of society.”
  • Samantha Collier is a marketing professional with the patience necessary to work with lawyers.  And, she’s willing to tackle a subject regarding which many lawyers are skeptical or scared:  social media.  Her Social Media for Law Firms blog covers a range of issues that lawyers and law firms on the cutting edge should be considering such as building a social media strategy, optimizing your use of popular social media platforms (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.), and how to handle online criticism.  It’s topical and it’s practical.

No review of Canadian legal blogging would be complete without recognition of the continued excellence exhibited by Connie Crosby, Jordan Furlong and the entire blogging team at Slaw.  When I referred to “blogging icons” at the beginning of the post, these were the folks I had in mind.  They set an impressively high standard for the rest of us.

[Photo Credit: vtgard]

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