I know it’s not quite over yet, but I am happy to shuffle 2020 out the door…it is no longer welcomed around here. I don’t have to remind all of you about the crappy stuff that has happened to the world this year.
Nevertheless, while 2020 didn't turn out the way I planned, there were a few good things that came out of this year:
I perfected my bread making skills and my butter tart recipe (no to raisins, yes to a splash of maple syrup).
I’ve spent ten months in jeans & t-shirts (my beautiful fancy shoes are gathering dust on a shelf).
It only took a pandemic for the Ontario court system to realize the fax machine should be permanently retired from duty.
My blog's readership increased in 2020 and I brought back my Women Leading in Law blog series.
….and it’s Clawbies (Canadian Law Blog Awards) time again!
Every year I write a post summarizing my Top Ten articles for that year and I am always pleasantly surprised when I check my Google Analytics to see which ones are the most popular with my readers.
Below is a list of my 10 most-read blog posts in 2020 (some written in previous years), followed by my #Clawbies2020 nominations:
10. Book Review: Full Disclosure by Beverley McLachlin (2018). This book was published in 2018 by the former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Canada and this post is my review of the murder mystery set in British Columbia.
9. Women Leading in Law: Frances Mahon (2020). This post was one of several posts in my Women Leading in Law blog series that I revived in March 2020.
8. As a Lawyer, When Would You (or Should You) Report Another Lawyer for Professional Misconduct (2014). An oldie but a goodie. This post often appears on my top ten list. (I’m not sure what this says about our profession….)
7. “Thank You for Telling Me My Work Sucks” Why Negative Feedback Can be a Good Thing (2020). This very recent post is on how to handle receiving feedback at work. I am happy to see it made it to the Top 10 so soon.
6. Women Leading in Law: Richa Sandill (2020). Another great entry in my Women Leading in Law series.
5. Barristers Robes: The Courtroom Equalizer (2017). An older post about the positive side to everyone wearing the same uniform in court. One thing I regret leaving out of the post is the fact that it is definitely not an equalizer when litigators are appearing against self-represented litigants.
4. What Are a Lawyer’s Professional Obligations When Leaving a Firm? (2015). Another post that remains popular with lawyers over the years. It’s an important question to address if you are thinking of switching firms or starting your own practice.
3. Plain Language Please. ‘Tis Time to Say Goodbye to Legalese (2015). I am quite surprised this post popped up in the Top 10 this year as it has never made it on to this list before. Perhaps more lawyers are thinking of using plain language? I hope so.
2. Women Leading in Law: Anita Szigeti (2020). Anita’s profile talks about her interesting legal practice in mental health law.
And my most read blog post for 2020…….
1. My Career Conundrum: I’m a Litigator and I Hate Conflict (2020). Wow! This post generated so much feedback and prompted dozens of lawyers to reach out to me by email, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. This post definitely struck a nerve in the legal profession.
Now for my #Clawbies2020 nominations:
So that’s a wrap on 2020! All the best in 2021!
And another year has come to an end. I hope 2019 treated you well and all the best for 2020!
Here's a look back at my ten blog posts with the most hits in 2019. Some are from previous years but still remain quite popular.
Links are below, in case you missed them the first time around!
10. Building a Legal Practice: Say Yes, Until It Is Time to Say No (2019)
9. How Are Firms Improving Equality Diversity and Inclusion? First Post: Lerners LLP (2019)
8. My Biggest Mistake This Year (2019)
7. How do you do it? And How do you do it all? Dispelling Myths About Life as a Lawpreneur (2019)
6. As a Lawyer When Would You (or Should You) Report Another Lawyer for Professional Misconduct? (2014)
5. What are a Lawyer's Professional Obligations When Leaving a Law Firm? (2015)
4. Book Review: Full Disclosure by Beverley McLachlin (2018)
3. The Economic Costs of Mansplaining in My Life (2019)
2. Barristers Robes The Courtroom Equalizer (2017)
1. Women Leading in Law: Jessica Prince (2018)
Happy New Year and thanks for reading.
I am so happy and honoured to receive the 2017 Canadian Law Blog Awards (the "CLawbies") Fodden Award for Best Canadian Law Blog. Checking the results yesterday, I was hoping to receive at least a mention in one of the categories and was blown away to win the "Grand Prize". The award committee kindly wrote that my blog "combines sharp insights into the Canadian litigation landscape and timely commentary on vital social issues with terrific writing and a unique personal style" and that my blog is "an important new voice in Canadian law blogging." Wow.
I must admit I often hesitate right before I hit the "publish" button on some of the posts I've written for this blog as I am expressing my own truly personal views on life and law. However, I know there is a need to tackle these sometimes difficult subject matters and voice my opinion. This award encourages me to continue speaking up. Thank you!
For any new readers joining me, below are my top 10 most visited blog posts for 2017 (starting with the most popular):
1. What Are a Lawyer's Professional Obligations When Leaving a Law Firm? (Although this post was written in 2015 (with an update this year based on changes to the Rules of Professional Conduct) it continues to be my most popular post, with several hits a day.)
2. The "Weinsteins" of Canadian Law
3. A (Feminist) Review of "Breakdown: The Inside Story of the Rise and Fall of Heenan Blaikie"
4. Stop Asking "Why Are Women Leaving Law?"
5. As a Lawyer, When Would You (or Should You) Report Another Lawyer for Professional Misconduct? (Also an older post, written in 2014, but still a very popular subject for many lawyers...hmmm)
6. "Fairly Equal: Lawyering the Feminist Revolution": A Must Read for the Next Generation of Feminist Lawyers
7. The One Thing I Never Again Want to Hear at an Event for Women Lawyers
8. Barristers' Robes: The Courtroom Equalizer
9. 5 Differences Between A Freelance Lawyer and a Sole Practitioner
10. Where oh Where do my LSUC Fees Go?
Thanks to the CLawbies award committee, the people who nominated my blog, and to my readers. Wishing you a wonderful 2018!
Happy New Year!
On the last day of 2016 I was honoured to discover that my blog was the winner of the Legal Culture Award for the 2016 Canadian Law Blog Awards (a.k.a. the Clawbies). The award announcement described my blog as featuring “frank discussions of gender and racial diversity in the legal profession, along with recaps and feedback on legal industry events and the occasional book review. Cowling’s curiosity, candour, and conversational approach make her blog a must-read.” What a nice way to end the year!
I decided to review my blog statistics and find the top 10 most visited posts to date to share with any new readers (starting with the most popular):
1. What are a Lawyer’s Professional Obligations When Leaving a Law Firm?
2. The One Thing I Never Again Want to Hear at an Event for Women Lawyers
3. Yes, I’m a Mother. Now Stop Assuming That’s Why I Left Big Law
4. Supreme Court Releases Important Decision on PIPEDA and Disclosure of Discharge Statements: RBC v. Trang
5. Engaging Men as Agents of Change- Gender at Work
6. Book Review - Leading the Way: Canadian Women in the Law
7. Through the Door and at the Table: Women and Racial Diversity in the Legal Profession
8. I Went to the LSUC's Annual General Meeting...and I Was Not the Only One
9. Book Review - January: A Woman Judge's Season of Disillusion
10. Getting More Women on the Bench
Thanks again to my readers and have a wonderful 2017!
Erin C. Cowling is a freelance lawyer, entrepreneur, legal career consultant researcher & writer, and President and Founder of Flex Legal Network Inc., a network of freelance lawyers.