The world of law can be confusing. Too often for us bloggers, a compelling story lies beneath a pile of legalese so thick, the only sentences we extract from it sound dull and wooden. Nobody wants to read about a case that was a real salmagundi of textbook law. That’s because nobody knows what the heck saslmagundi means. If you’re curious, it’s a type of English salad featuring “meat or fish, veggies, fruits, and nuts arranged in a geometrical fashion.” It’s been used by judges to imply the concept of a “mix” or “hodgepodge.”
Let’s face it: unless we studied law in college, we generally have a hard time understanding what we’re actually reading when it comes to legal documents or court cases. Never fear, however, because there is a solution to this problem. As a writer, it’s important to do your fair share of reading. This broadens your intellectual horizons and, importantly, may open you up to new niche subjects to write about. In order to get familiar with the rule of law, then, it might be necessary to follow an expert—or two, or four. Here’s our picks on where to get started.
Jonathan Bailey of Plagiarism Today
Our first pick might seem a little conceited, since Johnathan Bailey did, after all, write for Blog Herald. But he’s a great writer to keep an eye on for a few reasons.
Mr. Bailey has been hard at work defending artists from plagiarism over at Plagiarism Today. Johnathan’s online publication deals with the DMCA and copyright law, but is particularly focused on the “societal ill” of intellectual property infringement. Basically, if you have questions regarding plagiarism and copyright law, as well as their broader complications, Johnathan is the guy to follow.
Sullivan and Worcester of The Art Law Report
The legal team that makes up Sullivan and Worcester publish a brilliant blog on legal issues in the museum and visual arts communities. The site is edited by Nicholas M. O’Donnell, a legal expert at S&W’s Boston office.
The Art Law Report’s most notable achievement was their coverage of the discovery of a cache of art in Munich, Germany. The Nazis were apparently responsible for stealing and hiding this priceless collection. The Report’s unique legal perspective on the situation is a must-read for anyone wishing to approach a similar subject.
Harris Moure of the Canna Law Blog
There are countless activism websites related to the legalization of marijuana, but there’s little information out there about the legal issues faced by legal marijuana businesses. Enter Harris Moure of the Canna Law Blog, who focuses his legal expertise on subjects relating to marijuana businesses and their owners and employees.
With articles like Oregon Marijuana: Draft Rules for Labeling, Concentration and Testing, it’s easy to see why the Canna Law Blog is a must-follow for anyone interested in getting into the marijuana businesses—as well as us bloggers who encounter this subject with frequency. Once you understand the laws surrounding marijuana regulation, you’ll find it’s much easier to tackle the subject.
Stearns Weaver Miller Weissler Alhadeff & Sitterson of BeLabor the Point
Yes, that firm is a mouthful—but BeLabor the Point is actually one of the most accessible (and entertaining) law blogs out there. Its authors present legal matters relating to labor and the workforce in easily-understandable language, and they also try to create enjoyable reads—something rare in the stone-faced world of legal blogging.
A Short Digression on Local Blogs
We’ve previously written about blogging local and covering crime, and now we’d like to write a few words about following your local legal experts. As a rule, it’s easier to write about topics you’re familiar with, and if you live in a major metropolitan area, there may be job opportunities available to bloggers who are intimately familiar with their community. Even if you get a job writing for a website based in another city, it’s important to become familiar with city and state legal issues. If you’re writing for a website based in Phoenix, Arizona, and you’d like to cover a local crime or public interest story, imagine how much more authoritative your writing can become if you follow some Phoenix criminal lawyers in the blogosphere. Get their insight and expertise from a local perspective, and your writing will shine.