Hello everyone and greetings from Copenhagen! Mrs. Ten Thing’s family is from Denmark, so we have been fortunate enough to spend these holidays in Switzerland and Denmark. It’s been chocolate, beer, and a lot of eating! And no matter where you may be, I wish you a fantastic holiday season and all the best for 2023. Speaking of 2023, we are now into the ninth year of the “Ten Things” blog. How did that happen? (Hopefully, no one out there is screaming “unfortunate accident!”). Seriously, thank you all for sticking around for the ride, for the suggestions for topics, and, most of all, for the encouragement to keep on writing! I don’t think my shelf life has expired yet, so I plan to keep it going at least until the magic ten-year mark. I am also starting to work on the “Ten Things” podcast. But don’t get too excited just yet. That is probably a project for later next year as first I have to bear down and get the next book – on productivity – into the hands of the ABA before they send around the goon squad to make sure I am feverishly writing away. It is kind of a Charles Dickens vibe – if Charles Dickens was lashed to his desk with piano wire and reminded daily to get writing or else the dog, grandma, and Tiny Tim get it in the head. But I did sign on the line so the ABA will get their &%$#@ first draft soon enough.
But I digress. A lot. As usual. So, let’s right the ship and get back on course. I am excited about the final “Ten Things” blog of 2022 because, like every year, I end it by writing about all the other people you should be reading (or listening to) as part of your day-to-day in-house life. And, as always, there are a lot of great content generators out there fighting for your attention. Like in past years I am going to highlight a few that I follow and enjoy. But I cannot list everyone because I handicapped myself by calling my blog “Ten Things” and not “One Hundred Things” and I am nothing if not slavishly true to the numerical predicament of my own making. Which is a very long-winded way of saying, I am going to just list ten. And, like always, there is no particular order to my list and I will not list past “winners” – even if they are still some of my favorites (and they are, like Presnell on Privileges, Mel Scott’s Counsel podcast, and Contract Nerds). If you want to get more recommendations, check out past editions of my “Best Blogs (and Other Media) for In-House Lawyers,” starting with the 2021 edition. Okay, enough with the tangents and ABA bashing, let’s get on with the 2022 edition!
1. The Best Advice Show (podcast). I am going to break tradition and for my first winner go with a podcast. It’s not even a legal podcast. But that doesn’t matter. The Best Advice Show contains… um, really good advice. About a lot of different topics. The episodes are short (three to five minutes) and led by guest contributors who give their advice on something to make your life better. Here is one of my favorites on restarting your day. It’s gold.
2. New to Contracts (blog). I am a big fan of the Contract Nerds blog. One thing I really like is that it introduces you to new writers. That is how I found the New to Contracts blog, which has quickly become one of my favorites. Jack Terschluse keeps things clear and breezy (an excellent skill for a writer) and hits the nail on the head with his topics – good for newbies or experienced contract drafters alike. Check out, for example, his post on creating an issues list to expedite negotiating complex agreements. Good stuff, Jack!
3. Crafty Counsel (blog). Crafty Counsel is a bit of a Swiss Army knife of services for in-house lawyers. The website (and LinkedIn channel) provide content, conferences, and a community directed at in-house house legal departments. On the website, you can sort content by category and access articles on contract boilerplate, how to maintain privilege, and maximizing relationships with outside counsel. Extra bonus: cool fox head logo!
4. IP and Media Law Updates (blog). A winner from last year, the good folks at the Frankfurt Kurnit firm strike again with their IP and Media Law blog. Most in-house lawyers have to deal with IP and media issues and this blog should be on their “must-read” list. Some recent great entries cover the unauthorized use of photographs (a common problem faced by in-house counsel in a world where Gen-Z thinks everything online is free to use) to A.I.-generated rapper, FN Meka, “signing” a record deal. Check it out!
5. Inc. this Morning/Fast Company Compass (newsletters). Every morning I received an email newsletter from Fast Company Compass and Inc. this Morning. They are both jam-packed with interesting articles on productivity, management and HR, technology tips, and business generally. And they are both free. I cannot think of a day when I do not find something useful or of interest, such as what everyone gets wrong about risk or a story about a women’s professional network for female entrepreneurs. Sign up for at least one for 2023.
6. Unexplainable (podcast). Yep, another non-legal podcast makes the list but damn this one is good. The easiest way to explain it is a quote from the podcast site: “Unexplainable takes listeners right up to the edge of what we know … and then keeps right on going. This Vox podcast explores scientific mysteries, unanswered questions, and all the things we learn by diving into the unknown.” Some of my favorite episodes are “What’s the James Webb Telescope Searching For?” and “Talking to Ghosts.” All in-house lawyers should be curious about the world around them. Unexplainable can scratch that itch!
7. Byte Back Data Privacy (blog). Byte Back is a data privacy blog from Husch Blackwell’s David Strauss. I have been reading it for some time now (ever since CPRA came on the scene) and I think it is one of the best blogs on privacy issues. It’s practical, timely, and easy to read. David also does a series of excellent webinars on privacy issues, such as analyzing the proposed rules for the Colorado privacy law. He is instantly likable and authoritative, kind of like the Walter Cronkite of data privacy!
8. Books. For the first time, I am going to list a couple of books you should have on your shelf (right next to mine!). As you know, I am big on the value legal departments provide by drafting contracts. These two books can help enhance that value:
- Contract Redlining Etiquette by Nada Alnajafi. The creator of past winner the Contract Nerds blog has written a fantastic book on a critical skill for all in-house lawyers – how to redline properly and, more importantly, how to exchange redlines so that both sides get to a deal faster and with less friction. Buy this book today!
- How to Contract by Laura Fredrick. The creator of past winner the How to Contract blog (and more) has compiled many of her great contracting tips into an incredibly helpful book. I have been drafting contracts for a very long time and I keep a copy handy and refer to it often. Love it!
9. Front-Foot (website). I wasn’t sure how to list Front-Foot. It’s not a blog. It’s not an e-magazine or newsletter. It’s not really a content machine per se. What it is, however, is a new place to go to learn about legal operations. Most of you know I am a big fan of legal ops (after a contracts lawyer your next most important hire). If you are looking to get started with legal ops this is a great place to start (along with CLOC and ACC). On-demand courses, consulting, and (if you’re in the right part of the globe) secondments of legal ops professionals – which is great if you don’t have the budget for a full-time ops person but can benefit from getting things started on a shoestring.
10. LinkedIn (mix). I am not 100% sure what to call LinkedIn other than it is a hotbed of new thinkers with new ideas. That is certainly true for those writing on issues facing in-house lawyers. Last year I set out a long list of a lot of folks I pay attention to on LinkedIn. This year is no different. If you want to find the next generation of influencers and thinkers, here are a few more to check out and follow:
- Deborah Solmor
- Sarah Ouis
- Sharie Belitz
- Christine Uri
- Sarah Irwin
- Electra Japonas
- Petra Van Hilst
- Foster Sayers
Are there others? Sure! But between last year’s list and the list above, you’ll have plenty to read and learn from in 2023!
So, that about wraps it up for 2022 and for my latest best blogs edition. I hope you will find at least one of the above something that you use or follow regularly. If any of you have suggestions for me to check out for next year’s edition, send them my way. I am excited for 2023 and another year of blogging. As always, if you have any topics you’d like me to cover, send them along. I already have a great list but always looking to add more. If you are in New York in January, I will be speaking at the Ready Set GC (Impacting the Success of Women GCs) conference on the 19th. If you are attending, be sure to come up and say “hello.” If would like an invite, let me know. For anyone in Salt Lake City, it looks like I will be speaking at the Utah Bar Association – Corporate Counsel section meeting on January 13. So, hope to see folks there as well. Lastly, and from the heart, I appreciate you continuing to read and share the blog. It has been an amazing adventure so far, beyond anything I imagined when I wrote the first blog back in 2014. I wish everyone all the best in 2023 and signing off from Denmark!
December 30, 2022
My fifth book, Showing the Value of the Legal Department: More Than Just a Cost Center is available now, including as an eBook! You can buy a copy HERE.
Two of my books, Ten Things You Need to Know as In-House Counsel – Practical Advice and Successful Strategies and Ten (More) Things You Need to Know as In-House Counsel – Practical Advice and Successful Strategies Volume 2, are on sale now at the ABA website (including as e-books).
 See what I did? That’s called being a “sneaky bastard.” Try it. It’s fun!
 If they are not free I have no idea how or why I keep getting them. Could it be they are fans of the blog? Nah.