Dig out your favorite reading app—we’re fans of Instapaper and Pocket—and save these Lawyerist posts for reading over what’s left of the winter holidays!
Brendan Kenny’s legal writing posts were a highlight of 2016. His multimedia screed against bad fonts started quite a few heated discussions, and it opens up our countdown of the most popular posts of 2016.
Deborah Savadra thoroughly updated several of her Microsoft Office tutorials this year, including this guide to using Microsoft Word’s table of authorities feature in legal briefs.
It felt like we got a lot of bad news about lawyers’ mental health and substance abuse in 2016. Not that it should have been a surprise to everyone. In this post, Lisa Needham reported that lawyers abuse alcohol at over twice the rate of other professions. In a more recent post, Megan Zavieh argued that it is long past time for our profession to move past denial and deal with its addiction problem.
This post by David Colarusso is a deep introductory dive into big data for lawyers. As a teaching example, he considers the question whether it’s worse to be poor or black when facing the criminal justice system. (Spoiler: “for a black man in Virginia to get the same treatment as his Caucasian peer, he must earn an additional $90,000 a year.”)
Brendan Kenny’s impassioned plea for clarity and plain English in law practice. tl;dr: Stop talking like you’re reading a police report.
Well it isn’t secret anymore, Brendan.
Evernote is polarizing. Even it’s biggest fans (of which I am one) love to hate it. And while the future of the company seems far from certain, the future of the app looks like more of the same. If you are itching for something else, try some of the alternatives recommended by Holden Page.
This thoroughly updated guide remains a perennial favorite with lawyers and legal writing professors and students. The only thing Deborah Savadra won’t show and tell you how to do when it comes to formatting an appellate brief is choose the correct cover color.
Finally, our annual law firm websites contest is always popular. This year we finally saw evidence that responsive law firm websites have become the norm, and we also saw a lot of creativity on display. Looking for inspiration for your own website? Browse the top 10 and runners-up.
(If you’re wondering how to enter a website the next time around, just keep an eye out for our announcement in January. Here is more information on the contest.)