Last Friday was the 19th birthday of this blog, which I founded on Nov. 19, 2002, with this introductory post.
I had recently published the book, The Essential Guide to the Best (and Worst) Legal Sites on the Web, a guide to the then still nascent but rapidly evolving legal web, and wanted a way to help my readers keep up with new and changing legal websites.
Inspired by early legal bloggers such as Denise Howell, who started Bag and Baggage on Nov. 28, 2001, Ernie Svenson, who started Ernie the Attorney on March 2, 2002, and Tom Mighell, who started Inter Alia on Aug. 18, 2002, I thought a blog would be the ideal medium.
Over time, I broadened the breadth of coverage to include not only websites, but also legal technology, legal innovation, legal ethics and legal media.
It has been a fascinating journey. I’ve had companies tell me this blog was responsible for their initial success. Others have blamed me for putting them out of business. In 2011, the blog earned me mention in the inaugural Fastcase 50, and in 2012, the ABA Journal included LawSites in its inaugural Blawg 100 Hall of Fame.
None of this would have been possible but for you, the readers. While the blog’s audience has grown substantially over the years, I still run across readers who have been with me since those earliest days. Whether you are a long-time reader or you are just discovering LawSites, I value the time you give me and I hope you find value in what you read.
I also owe a huge debt of gratitude for this blog’s continued existence to three companies and the people behind them.
- Eleven years ago, I almost had to shut down this blog. Then the founders of Justia, Stacy Stern and Tim Stanley, offered a lifeline. Justia became this blog’s home for eight years, until 2018. This year, I moved back to Justia, where my blog is again hosted and where Tim, Stacy and the Justia team are helping me launch another soon-to-be-unveiled project.
- During that interim from 2018 to earlier this year, I had moved my blog to LexBlog, which I’d joined in 2018 as publisher and editor-in-chief. While I am no longer with LexBlog, I am deeply grateful for its support over the years — in particular from LexBlog’s founder and CEO Kevin O’Keefe, who has been a true friend to me and to this blog.
- Five years ago, I was honored to be invited to become a columnist for Above the Law. In the years since, that blog and my blog have enjoyed what I hope has been a mutually beneficial relationship, but which no doubt has benefitted me far more than them. Thanks to former editor David Lat for recruiting me into the fold; John Lerner, CEO of ATL’s parent company Breaking Media, for his continuing support; and to all the ATL editors I’ve had the good fortune to work with.
Last but not least, I am extremely grateful for the companies over the years that have supported this blog and my LawNext podcast. They are too numerous to mention here, but I will give a shout-out to two current sponsors, Paradigm, the company that is home to the practice management platforms PracticePanther, Bill4Time, and MerusCase, and the e-payments platform Headnote; and to Woodpecker, legal document automation for solo and small firms, and its parent company MyCase.
Over the course of 19 years, the world of legal technology has changed dramatically. Having a ringside seat to those changes has been a true gift.