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Praise for ABA Journal Web Site Relaunch

The headline that best describes the ABA Journal's unveiling last week of its new Web site may be this one from Mark Obbie: A Sleeping Giant Stirs. I first noted the head-to-toe redesign of the site a week ago on my LawSites blog, but now that I am back from the Maine woods, I have had a chance to look more closely at the site and at other bloggers' comments. Opinions appear to be unanimously enthusiastic. Overnight, the ABA Journal's Web site went from Edsel to Ferrari.

The overhaul was spearheaded by two former colleagues of mine at ALM, Ed Adams, the magazine's new editor and publisher, and Molly McDonough, the magazine's assistant managing editor/online. My LawSites post describes the site's major features, which include regularly updated legal news stories drawn from multiple sources online, a directory of more than 1,000 law-related blogs, articles from the magazine, RSS feeds and more. But here I wanted to collect some of what others are saying about the new site. Here is a sampling of what I found:

  • Blawg's Blog: "[A]t first glimpse, it looks to me like the ABA has done a very nice job in putting together its new site. It has created another law portal, however, which makes this move pretty interesting. My initial reaction is that the ABA has moved into direct competition with and FindLaw (and maybe a Lexis web property like It also obviously offers some of the same features and functionality as and Justia, to name a couple more."
  • Dennis Kennedy: "I like the direction that the ABA Journal is going with the website and the print publication. In fact, I like it so much that I've recently agreed to take over the legal technology column for the publication starting this fall."
  • Ernie the Attorney: "Very impressive new look! Also note that the Journal is now listing legal blogs (which they term 'blawgs'), including this one."
  • InhouseBlog: "This is sure to be a powerful new tool for in-house counsel - check it out and add it to your blog reader."
  • LawBeat: ", watch your back. The ABA Journal today launched a new Web site that kicks's butt."
  • Mediator blah... blah...: "Best of all is The Blawg Directory which indexes more than 1,000 law blogs. The directory tells you about the author, what they cover, and includes excerpts from the 10 latest posts."
  • MyShingle: "[T]he ABA has finally provided a really useful product with the newly launched, online ABA Journal. The site makes ABA Journal articles and legal news available, and also contains one of the best topical blawg directories that I've ever seen."
  • New York Personal Injury Law Blog: "The American Bar Association has moved into the news and blog arena in a big way, as evidenced by their newly redone website. A quick view shows terrific free news feeds as well as a great new compendium of blawgs. They have obviously done their homework."

If the best headline about the new site was Mark Obbie's, quoted above, the most succinct evaluation of the overhaul may be this from Denise Howell at Bag and Baggage: "It's not the old site, which was, let's face it, as painful as a nitrous-free molar extraction."

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on July 30, 2007 at 03:45 PM | Permalink | Comments (9)


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