In the annals of Internet history, 2002 may go down as the year of the blog. Twelve months ago, few of us had ever heard the term, even though blogs had existed in one form or another since at least 1997. Today, their number is estimated to be anywhere from 200,000 to more than half a million. The explosion in blogging has been felt within the legal field, with lawyers, academics, pundits and even judges introducing blogs of their own. Many of these blogs are interesting, some quite good, and a handful truly useful.
But blogs were not the only law-related Web sites started in 2002. Other notable sites debuted, covering topics ranging from Daubert to domestic violence. In a recent column, I review some of the year’s most laudable launches. Among the sites I mention:
- TalkLeft, news and musings on the politics of crime from Denver criminal lawyer Jeralyn Merritt.
- How Appealing, Howard J. Bashman’s blog devoted to appellate litigation.
- SCOTUSBlog, published by the Washington, D.C., firm Goldstein & Howe.
- Lessig Blog, from Stanford Law School Professor Lawrence Lessig.
- The Volokh Conspiracy, from UCLA’s Eugene Volokh, along with his brother and other contributors.
- Topical Sites
- Daubert on the Web, devoted to analysis of the Supreme Court’s 1993 decision, Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, and created by Philadelphia litigator Peter B. Nordberg.
- Legacy Tobacco Documents Library, maintained by the University of California, San Francisco.
- Women’s Law Initiative is a nationwide resource for women who are victims of domestic violence.
- The Religious Liberty Archive, which focuses on religious freedom as it has played out in courts and legislatures.
- Chilling Effects, a site devoted to the legal protection of online speech.
- American Non-Governmental Organizations Coalition for the International Criminal Court, a repository of information about the United States and the International Criminal Court.
- Global Competition Forum, from the International Bar Association.
- Creative Commons, working to develop alternatives to traditional copyright.