I’m a big fan of “lists” – whether they are “Top 10” lists, or “Must Follow” lists or “To Do” lists… (actually, I’m not a big fan of the “To Do” list.) But, I do not like it when someone posts a “list” on their blog that is basically a cut and paste job from other’s work. I ran across one such list today and it immediately made me think that someone didn’t do their own work.

The list was compiled by a “Lawyer Coach” and is called “50 Lawyers and Legal Professionals You Should Follow.” I’m not going to link to it, but you can do a Twitter search to find some of the tweets and re-tweets that point to it, or you can Google it!
I saw this tweeted by a couple of very reputable people I follow and so I checked it out to see who the “best of the best” were. When I got there, I saw what looked like the great list of people that Lance Goddard and Adrian Lurssen compiled, and to the blogger’s credit, they were credited. However, once I started looking at the list, I noticed that there were links to people:
  1. Who don’t exist
  2. Who don’t write anything
  3. Who died over a year ago
It reminded me of some attorneys I’ve known over the years that blindly cut and paste sections from someone else’s brief only to have a judge point out to them that the quote or citation from the original brief was wrong. Doing things like this show that you are sloppy in your research, and if you aren’t willing to put in the effort to at least verify the people that you claim others should follow, then why would anyone want to follow (or hire) you??
So please… if you put a list on your blog that you want me to take seriously; DON’T COPY & PASTE SOMEONE ELSE’S LIST!! And, if you feel that you must copy and paste someone else’s list, please do some research to make sure the information is still accurate. Otherwise, you just end up looking like you don’t know what you’re talking about.
  • Amen. I couldn't find the original person to attribute this quote to but I've loved it since I heard it. Copy and paste is both the best and worst thing that computers have brought us.

  • Funny, and glad you caught this.

    Several years ago, I got an email from a site that said my blog was selected for inclusion into the list of top 50 internet law blogs. Oddly the site provided information regarding "online schools". I did some digging around and realized what was going on.

    Since then I've become even more skeptical of lists (I share your instinctive dislike for them).

  • Excellent points. I'm adding this to my list of favorite blog posts.

  • Thanks for doing this post. I was caught off guard this morning when I saw that list being heavily tweeted – and that it included the name of a really wonderful person who died earlier this year.