Monday, August 4, 2014

What I Read: How One Business Law Blogger Keeps Up

One of the reasons you read this blog is to keep up with developments related to business law and to read commentary on those developments. But how do we, the editors of this blog, keep up with new developments ourselves? What blogs and other sources do we follow?

I realize that, as a law professor, I probably have both more time and perhaps a greater professional obligation to keep up with law-related events and scholarship. And what I read is necessarily idiosyncratic, dependent in part on my particular interests and foibles. For some unknown reason, not everyone is interested in the latest from the SEC's Division of Investment Management. And individual tastes vary; commentators I find interesting and informative, you might find banal, and vice versa.

But, with those disclaimers, here's my list, for what it's worth. I have divided it into four categories: blogs and RSS feeds, subscription services, daily news, and print resources. (Remember print? Those non-electronic things we used to hold in our hands.) I hope you'll find something useful.

Blogs and RSS Feeds

To begin, let me admit that this list is incomplete. I only read blogs that offer RSS feeds. If they won’t deliver it to me, I’m too lazy to seek it out. Second, the order here means nothing; they're in the order in which they appear on my RSS reader. I was too lazy to alphabetize. (Beginning to notice a theme?)

General Law

Wall Street Journal: Law Blog
Brian Leiter’s Law School Reports
Concurring Opinions
Legal Scholarship Blog
Lowering the Bar
TaxProf Blog (The non-tax feed only. No tax; I'm not a masochist.)
Volokh Conspiracy

Corporate and Securities Law

SEC Materials (The list of RSS feeds is here.)

Press Releases
Division of Investment Management News
SEC.Gov Updates: Proposed Rules Updates: What’s New in the Division of Corporation Finance

SEC Actions
FINRA Newsroom
Business Law Prof Blog (Of course! You should read each post 2-3 times a day.)
CLS Blue Sky Law Blog
Delaware Corporate and Commercial Litigation Blog
The Conference Board Governance Center Blog
M&A Law Prof Blog
Securities Law Prof Blog
The D&O Diary
Harvard Law School Corporate Governance Blog
The Venture Alley
The Race to the Bottom
Truth on the Market

Economics and Accounting

Carpe Diem
Greg Mankiw’s Blog
Marginal Revolution
The Summa



Small Business
Top News
Tech Beat
The New Entrepreneur

The Economist (All of its RSS feeds are available here.):

Books and Arts
Finance and Economics
Science and Technology
Special Reports
United States

CNN Business and Financial News

Small Business Trends
Harvard Business Review
Robert Salomon’s Blog


CALI (Center for Computer-Assisted Legal Education) Spotlight
Best Practices for Legal Education
Law School Innovation
Educause Review
Foundation for Individual Rights in Education
Inside Higher Education:

Blog U

General News and Opinions

Just to be complete, here are the other RSS feeds I receive that don't directly relate to what I post on this blog: the Daily Dilbert, Boing Boing, Lifehacker, Slate Magazine, Mental Floss, Reason Magazine, TEDTalks, Wired Top Stories, Dave Barry’s Blog, and NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day. Most of those are guilty pleasures, but all of them except for the NASA picture of the day have at one time or another provided me with something to use professionally. Someday I will find a way to use one of the NASA pictures in class. (I don't think the the Milky Way picture with the "you are here" arrow that I posted on my office door really counts as academic use.) I also subscribe to some local news feeds, but I doubt many of our readers have any interest in Nebraska or Nebraska football, so I’ll leave those out. (Go Huskers!)


I also have email subscriptions to a number of Bloomberg BNA daily and weekly reports: Broker-Dealer Compliance; Corporate Law & Accountability;  Mergers & Acquisitions Law; Securities Law; U.S. Law Week; and White Collar Crime. I also receive two weekly updates provided by Practical Law: Corporate and Securities; and Finance. I also receive a couple of daily reports offered by the Chronicle of Higher Education: Wired Campus and Academe Today. All of these require a paid subscription, unfortunately.

But the best place to keep up with cutting edge legal scholarship is on SSRN, the Social Science Research Network. As I noted in an earlier post, most articles are posted on SSRN long before they are published in print. SSRN offers a number of “e-journals” that include abstracts of, and links to, these articles. I subscribe to the following SSRN e-journals:  Corporate and Financial Law: Corporate and Takeover Law: Interdisciplinary Approaches; Corporate Governance; Law and Finance; Law Educator: Courses, Materials & Teaching; Legal Education; Legal History; LLCs, Close Corporations, Partnerships, & Other Private Enterprises; Securities Law.

Just in case I miss something on SSRN, I also subscribe to SmartCILP, a listing of law review publications offered by the law library at the University of Washington. Unfortunately, it's fee-based.

Daily News

Finally, I read the online versions of the Wall Street Journal (subscription required); the New York Times (limited access, but it's easy to get around); and, in addition to my local papers, on a daily basis. I also look at Google News from time to time.

Print Resources

Not all of my reading is online. I still read a few print journals that either don’t publish digitally or that our law library doesn’t have digital subscriptions to: the Business Lawyer; the National Law Journal; the American Lawyer; the Securities Regulation Law Journal; and the Review of Commodities and Securities Regulation. But, as I have mentioned earlier, most of my reading is now straight off the computer. Few print resources find their way to my in-box anymore.

What Am I Missing?

That's it. It looks a little overwhelming, but it can't be that bad because I don't work that hard (remember the lazy theme above?) and I keep up with it.

I hate to throw out this question, because I really don't want to add to my list. (Once again, not the parenthetical theme.) But if you regularly read something online that I’m missing, feel free to add it in a comment. And I’m also hoping my co-bloggers will chime in to add to the list.

(Correction: In an earlier version of this post, I implied that SSRN e-journal subscriptions are free. They generally are, for those with an institutional account, but many of them are fee-based if you don't have an institutional account.)

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Steve Bradford: “I don't work that hard … and I keep up with it.”

LeBron James: “I could dunk in 5th grade … how hard can it be?”

Yes, I just compared Steve Bradford to LeBron James. You’re welcome.

Posted by: Stefan Padfield | Aug 4, 2014 8:19:48 AM

I'm of an earlier generation. Could I be Larry Bird instead?

Keep in mind that I don't read every article in those feeds, just the ones that interest me. It only takes a sentence or two to eliminate most of them.

Posted by: Steve Bradford | Aug 4, 2014 8:33:00 AM

And I have only dunked 2-3 times in my life, all around the age of 18 and, unfortunately, never in a game.

Posted by: Steve Bradford | Aug 4, 2014 8:35:46 AM

Agree that this is the key: "It only takes a sentence or two to eliminate most of them." Now, a moment of silence for all the authors who have hours of their work eliminated after two sentences. And yes, you can be Larry Bird ... but, could he dunk?

Posted by: Stefan Padfield | Aug 4, 2014 8:42:27 AM

Could he dunk? I suggest you go back and look at some highlights. He didn't get high, but he definitely could dunk.

Posted by: Steve Bradford | Aug 4, 2014 8:46:52 AM

I feel for those authors who I'm eliminating after a couple of sentences, but keep in mind that I'm not judging the merit of their work in those sentences, just whether their topic is of interest to me. There are many things on my list only tangentially related to my interests; I have to be very selective about those.

Posted by: Steve Bradford | Aug 4, 2014 8:49:44 AM

I use to create an aggregate feed for the blogs I want to catch on a daily basis. Then, I skim the single email sent to me each day. It helps to cut down on the number of individual emails I get. I am thinking of cutting way back on newsletter subscriptions. So few of them seem to add much . . . . The amount of information is overwhelming. I do not even claim to keep up.

Posted by: joanheminway | Aug 4, 2014 9:11:57 AM

Great list - thanks! There are some I have to check out. One thing I might add is an email subscription to the Chancery Daily - I don't remember how I found out about it (it might have been mentioned here?) But it's very clever and informative:

Posted by: Ann Lipton | Aug 4, 2014 9:20:58 AM

Thanks, Ann. I subscribed to the Chancery Daily for awhile, but decided it was just too much detail for someone whose primary interest is securities law.

Posted by: Steve Bradford | Aug 4, 2014 9:24:10 AM

Steve: Great list. Mine is virtually identical. See

Two thoughts: I use Westlaw's alert service to set up alerts to search for items relevant both to my current areas of interest and to areas where I have ongoing interest. If you refine them over time to get better results, they can be quite useful. Also, I subscribe to the Green Bag and dote on it.

Posted by: Stephen Bainbridge | Aug 4, 2014 1:49:45 PM

I provide a list of blogs and resources for my BA students who want to learn more about business- usually at a very basic level, but will add many of these. Thanks- and by the way, this insomniac speed reader tips her hat off to you. I don't know how you do it even with all of the culling tricks you mentioned to weed out what you don't want to read.

Posted by: MARCIA NARINE | Aug 4, 2014 2:30:49 PM

Thanks, Steve. I use Westlaw's alert service as well. I also use Google Alerts to catch things on the Internet that wouldn't show up on Westlaw. Google Alerts has been particularly valuable for my crowdfunding research.

Posted by: Steve Bradford | Aug 4, 2014 3:15:48 PM


I share some of these on my web page, but it's been a while since I updated it.

Rule No. 1 for being able to do it: my youngest child is now 24 and all but one of my grandchildren is at least 600 miles away. :)

Posted by: Steve Bradford | Aug 4, 2014 3:17:30 PM

My list is quite similar, though you note a few that I will add. I think Eric Orts' (Wharton) relatively new blog might be worth adding to your general corporate list.

Posted by: Haskell Murray | Aug 10, 2014 10:35:41 AM

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