Just got hit with the internet equivalent of a chain letter, called a meme. It came from Dan Hull of the What About Clients law blog, without any threats or promises, just a list of the ten best law blogs, with instructions to pass it on.

I have been a long time fan of both Hull (who has created a terrific LA based boutique firm with a national presence) and of his blog. The blog describes itself as “news and ideas on clients, customers, business and law around the globe.” I describe it as the best writing out there on law firm client service and on why boutique firms are the way to go 90% of the time. I quote from a very recent What About Clients post, entitled, Do BigClients need BigLaw more than 10% of the time?:

The point is this: 90% of the important corporate legal work being done right now by firms between 150 and 3000 lawyers can be done by boutiques and smaller firms.

If it has the right people, your firm can land Fortune 500 companies and keep them. And don’t forget to maintain or raise your rates. Competing on price for higher-end work is for chumps and will only hurt you in both marketing and client retention. Remember, in this “model”, your lawyers and services/products are first-rate, and your client service is superior. So find out what the “BigLaw” rate is–and match or exceed it.

I just gotta love a guy who tells me to charge more. Such people rank right under those who actually do pay more.

This meme was started by The Blawg Review who named May it Please the Court as one of it’s ten, who then, in turn, named What About Clients?as one of its ten. What About Clients has now tagged us, so here goes.

My problem is that I am much more focused on China than on the law and so my list is really much more of my ten favorite law related blogs than it is an attempt at naming the top ten law blogs. And even within the China space, I am biased towards blogs that help foreign companies do business in China better.

My list, IN ABSOLUTELY NO PARTICULAR ORDER, is as follows:

1. China Hearsay. Written by China lawyer Stan Abrams. This blog focuses on China, China law, law, China trade, China lawyers, doing business in China, and on whatever else strikes Stan’s fancy that day. Always a good read.

2. China Business Law Blog. Written by third year law student Brad Luo. Brad does a great job at finding important Chinese cases, analyzing them, and telling us of their significance.

3. Transnational Law Blog. Written by four third year law students at UC-Hastings College of Law, with Wendy Jackson and Travis Hodgkins doing the overwhelming bulk of the writing. Travis summer clerked with us in Shanghai this past summer and will almost certainly be joining us upon graduation. Travis speaks Mandarin and the bulk of his writings focus on China, though the blog describes itself as covering law that “transcends national frontiers.”

4. IP Dragon, which does an absolutely great job on China IP.

5. Above the Law. I love this blog and take perverse pleasure in reading about the comings and goings, scandals and problems and profligacy of big law here. Where else can I go to find out who the hottest law librarians are? In fact, where else am I going to go to learn there is such a thing as a hot law librarian?

6. Chinese Law Prof Blog. Written by Georgetown law professor, Donald Clarke. This was the first China law blog and though the time between posts can be ponderously long, I am constantly impressed by Professor Clarke’s ability to dig up relevant China legal information.

7. Adams Drafting Blog. I like this blog for the exact opposite reasons I like Above the Law. This blog is written by Ken Adams, who rightfully describes himself as “a leading authority on modern and effective contract drafting.” I have learned a ton from this site.

8. What About Clients? See above.

9. The WSJ Law Blog. Written by Peter Latman. Relevant. Funny. Amazingly prolific. Connected. Who could ask for anything more?

10. Korea Law Blog. This blog is written by Brendan Carr, an American lawyer in Seoul, whom I have known for years. The blog is relatively new but it has already had some great posts I have cited here.

Update: My humble apologies to my friend Kevin O’Keefe for unjustifiably leaving him off this list. I just plum forgot! I am a regular reader of Kevin’s blog, but the guy is such a good businessperson/marketer/blogger, I forgot he is a lawyer and that his blog is law related. Anyway, Kevin, who lives just across the water from me on Bainbridge Island, runs Real Lawyers Have Blog, which is by far the preeminent blog on legal blogging.

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Dan Harris

I am a founder of Harris Bricken, an international law firm with lawyers in Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Seattle, China and Spain.

I mostly represent companies doing business in emerging market countries. It has taken me many years to build my network and it takes constant communication and travel to maintain it. My work has been as varied as securing the release of two improperly held helicopters in Papua New Guinea, setting up a legal framework to move slag from Canada to Poland’s interior, overseeing hundreds of litigation and arbitration matters in Korea, helping someone avoid terrorism charges in Japan, and seizing fish product in China to collect on a debt.

I was named as one of only three Washington State Amazing Lawyers in International Law, I am AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory (its highest rating), I am rated 10.0 by AVVO.com (its highest rating), and I am a SuperLawyer.

I am a frequent writer and public speaker on doing business in Asia and I constantly travel between the United States and Asia. I most commonly speak on China law issues and I am the lead writer of the award winning China Law Blog (www.chinalawblog.com). Forbes Magazine, Fortune Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, Investors Business Daily, Business Week, The National Law Journal, The Washington Post, The ABA Journal, The Economist, Newsweek, NPR, The New York Times and Inside Counsel have all interviewed me regarding various aspects of my international law practice.

I am licensed in Washington, Illinois, and Alaska.

In tandem with the international law team at my firm, I focus on setting up/registering companies overseas (via WFOEs, Rep Offices or Joint Ventures), drafting international contracts (NDAs, OEM Agreements, licensing, distribution, etc.), protecting IP (trademarks, trade secrets, copyrights and patents), and overseeing M&A transactions.