The Business of Running for President

The Business of Running for President
The Business of Running for President

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The editors at Best Degree Programs decided to research the topic of


Much like running a corporation, running for president is an expensive and time-consuming undertaking. Just like a corporation, a campaign involves employees, money management, public relations, advertising and the selling of a product or service. Which in this case is the person running for office. In this graphic, we take a look at just what all it takes to run for president, and how big of a business doing so has become.

Like all businesses, you have better success in some states than others. Below is a look at how effective each candidate has been state by state in fundraising.

Contributions by state

– State – Obama – Romney
– Alabama – $1,654,274 – $2,955,243
– Alaska – $972,467 – $462,946
– Arizona – $4,735,019 – $5,618,326
– Arkansas – $914,689 – $1,412,499
– California – $68,370,488 – $33,894,034
– Colorado – $8,027,613 – $6,517,234
– Connecticut – $6,294,077 – $8,140,053
– Delaware – $992,752 – $584,135
– DC – $10,529,242 – $2,178,276
– Florida – $16,932,440 – $24,803,358
– Georgia – $7,120,899 – $8,862,459
– Hawaii – $1,931,175 – $393,309
– Idaho – $705,441 – $1,947,334
– Illinois – $64,534,584 – $10,327,299
– Indiana – $2,843,021 – $2,970,872
– Iowa – $1,858,402 – $1,554,544
– Kansas – $1,398,820 – $1,926,745
– Kentucky – $1,800,379 – $2,569,190
– Louisiana – $1,776,630 – $3,538,962
– Maine – $2,201,770 – $435,405
– Maryland – $14,233,717 – $4,546,946
– Massachusetts – $18,287,133 – $9,232,363
– Michigan – $7,149,288 – $7,276,333
– Minnesota – $5,254,806 – $2,642,940
– Mississippi – $664,000 – $1,859,956
– Missouri – $3,455,631 – $4,932,347
– Montana – $850,658 – $864,866
– Nebraska – $775,257 – $1,456,883
– Nevada – $1,890,065 – $2,905,250
– New Hampshire – $1,859,552 – $1,306,388
– New Jersey – $9,612,497 – $8,660,473
– New Mexico – $2,776,017 – $1,426,834
– New York – $38,838,996 – $21,478,660
– North Carolina – $7,619,320 – $5,832,134
– North Dakota – $364,751 – $195,090
– Ohio – $6,034,573 – $8,828,344
– Oklahoma – $1,540,354 – $3,710,800
– Oregon – $5,541,229 – $2,094,618
– Pennsylvania – $11,202,939 – $8,935,569
– Rhode Island – $1,116,206 – $487,904
– South Carolina – $2,008,461 – $2,558,859
– South Dakota – $289,204 – $559,960
– Tennessee – $3,392,185 – $5,069,581
– Texas – $18,139,449 – $27,176,411
– Utah – $1,493,890 – $7,360,437
– Vermont – $1,893,127 – $209,544
– Virginia – $12,341,283 – $10,714,153
– Washington – $12,517,534 – $4,864,403
– West Virginia – $629,025 – $801,053
– Wisconsin – $3,647,595 – $3,019,330
– Wyoming – $572,487 – $1,118,424
– Totals: Obama – $556,000,000; Romney – $339,800,000

*Individual campaign contributions

Average contribution

One can get a pretty good idea of whose backing a candidate, and who the candidate is courting by how much the average contribution is to their campaign. In this section we break down the average size of campaign contributions to each candidate.


– $200 and Under: $354,065,192
– $200.01 – $499: $55,001,438
– $500 – $999: $49,881,750
– $1000 – $1999: $53,599,503
– $2000 and Over: $92,087,929


– $200 and Under: $78,420,929
– $200.01 – $499: $23,532,530
– $500 – $999: $24,111,002
– $1000 – $1999: $49,819,992
– $2000 and Over: $170,307,450

*Individual campaign contributions

The Super PACs and National Committees

On top of the candidates’ campaigns, money is also raised and spent by the national committees and super PACs. Combined, they have enough financial influence to drastically alter the political landscape without any involvement or say from the candidate themselves.

– National committees – DNC–$223.3m RNC–$323.1m
– Super PACs with over $1 million


– Restore Our Future- $99,148,476
– American Crossroads – $56,122,197
– Americans for Prosperity – $30,800,720
– Winning Our Future – $17,003,038
– Crossroads GPS – $11,181,996
– Americans for Job Security – $8,228,539
– Red White and Blue Fund – $7,529,620
– American Future Fund – $7,137,617
– NRA Political Victory Fund – $5,635,140
– Republican Jewish Coalition – $4,569,320
– Ending Spending Action Fund – $4,463,307
– Make Us Great Again – $3,959,824
– Endorse Liberty – $3,417,567
– Our Destiny – $2,804,234
– Conservative Majority Fund – $2,646,716
– The Next Generation – $1,601,338
– Susan B Anthony List – $1,575,251
– Total – $273,645,942


– Priorities USA Action – $53,995,734
– SEIU – $3,836,001
– Planned Parenthood Votes – $3,808,435
– Florida Freedom PAC – $2,814,654
– AFSCME – $2,569,317
– Workers’ Voice – $1,682,583
– League of Conservation Voters – $1,135,369
– Moveon.Org Political Action – $1,042,776
– Total – $70,884,869

How they spend their funds

With budgets bordering a mega-corporation, it’s no surprise that presidential campaigns spend their haul in as many places with the most impact as possible. Below is a look at just where all that “hard earned” money ends up.

– Obama % – Romney %
– Advertising – $457.6m (52%) – $356.8 (46%)
– Mail – $85.5m (10%) – $123.9m (16%)
– Payroll – $95.1m (11%) – $48.0m (6%)
– Fundraising – $81.8m (9%) – $90.7m (12%)
– Administration – $45.8m (5%) – $20.8m (3%)
– Travel – $24.1m (3%) – $31.4m (4%)
– Polling – $27.8m (3%) – $11.9m (1%)
– Consulting – $12.0m (1%) – $21.1m (3%)
– Lists – $16.3m (2%) – $9.0m (1%)
– Events – $13.9m (1%) – $5.6m (1%)

*Includes funds from candidates, national parties and super PACs

If looking at these huge sums of cash being spent to become president got you wondering if something is out of whack, you would be correct. President Lincoln spent a total of $2.8 million adjusted for today to become president. Below is a look at just how out of hand election spending has become.

– 1860: Lincoln’s campaign spends $2.8 million in today’s dollars
– 1896: McKinley vs. Bryan set a record for most expensive race that stood for over 60 years.
– 1908: Taft vs. Bryan
– 1932: FDR vs. Hoover
– 1956: Eisenhower vs. Stephenson
– 1960: Kennedy vs. Nixon
– 1964: LBJ vs. Goldwater
– 1968: Nixon vs. Humphrey vs. Wallace
– 1972: Nixon vs. McGovern
– 1976: Carter vs. Ford
– 1980: Reagan vs. Carter
– 1984: Reagan vs. Mondale
– 1988: Bush vs. Dukakis
– 1992: Clinton vs. Bush vs. Perot
– 1996: Clinton vs. Dole
– 2000: Bush vs. Gore
– 2004: Bush vs. Kerry
– 2008: McCain vs. Obama

The Business of Running for President


Federal Election Commission, Washington Post, New York Times, Mother Jones

10 U.S. Presidents Who Never Graduated From College


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Our nation’s leaders carry the weight of the country on their shoulders, so it’s not unreasonable to expect them to have attained a higher educational level than the Average Joe. The current President of the United States, Barack Obama, is certainly no slouch in the academic department: he studied political science at Columbia University, majoring in international relations. In 1991 Obama graduated magna cum laude from Harvard Law School.

However, some of the greatest presidents in US history did not set foot in an institute of higher learning, let alone graduate from one. Often, education was simply not an option for the following ten presidents. That said, through hard work and sheer determination – or an action-packed stint in the US Army – they managed to rise to the top. And though they may not have been college graduates themselves, they still realized the importance of education.

10. Andrew Johnson (1865-1869)


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On March 4, 1865, Andrew Johnson was inaugurated as vice president during Abraham Lincoln’s short-lived second term. He became the 17th US president just over a month later, on April 15, 1865 – the day Lincoln was assassinated by John Wilkes Booth.

Johnson was born in a log cabin in North Carolina on December 29, 1808. His mother was a laundress, and both his parents were practically illiterate. At just ten years old, Johnson was sent to work as an apprentice to a tailor, where another employee helped him learn basic reading and writing. Locals came by to read to the tailors, and the future politician listened. According to Johnson’s biographer Annette Gordon-Reed, this is where the future president’s skill for public speaking originated. When he was 17 years old, Johnson opened a tailor shop in Greenville, Tennessee. He also met his wife Eliza McCardle at 17 and she helped him with reading, grammar and mathematics. The pair went on to marry in 1827 when Johnson was 18 years old and McCardle was 16.

9. Zachary Taylor (1849-1850)


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Zachary Taylor was born on November 24, 1784 in Barboursville, Virginia. He grew up in a cabin in the woods on the Ohio River in Kentucky, before his planter parents’ fortunes changed and the family moved back into a brick house. Although Taylor had an aptitude for learning quickly, there were no formal schools in Kentucky and his education was hit and miss. His early handwriting would later be described as “that of a near illiterate.”

On May 3, 1808, Taylor joined the army as a first lieutenant. He spent the next 40 years as a career officer in the US Armed Forces, participating in a series of wars, including the War of 1812 and the Mexican-American War. His success in the military saw him promoted to major general in 1846, and he gained recognition as a brave and heroic figure. He was then successfully persuaded by the Whig Party to run for president. Assisted by his standing as a national hero, in 1848 Taylor was elected to the presidency, in spite of his ambiguous platform and general want of political interest. He took up office on March 4, 1849. However, Taylor’s presidential term was quite short, as he died of a digestive ailment on July 9, 1850. Rumors that he was poisoned abounded.

8. Millard Fillmore (1850-1853)


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Millard Fillmore was launched into the presidency after the sudden death of Zachary Taylor, under whom he had served as vice president. He took the position on July 9, 1950 – the day of Taylor’s death. Fillmore was born in a log cabin in Moravia, New York on January 7, 1800. He worked on his father’s farm and was educated in various one-room schoolhouses. At age 14, he was apprenticed to a cloth maker in Sparta, New York. Soon after, he took up a similar position in nearby New Hope.

Receiving a decent education on the frontier was a challenge for Fillmore, who in 1819 attended New Hope Academy for half a year. He abandoned cloth making later that year and began working as a clerk for a local judge, who started to teach him law. Eventually, Fillmore moved to Buffalo and continued to study law in a lawyer’s office, becoming a fully-fledged attorney in 1823. In 1834, in partnership with his friend Nathan K. Hall, he founded the Fillmore and Hall law firm, which was renamed Fillmore, Hall and Haven in 1836. The firm went on to become quite highly regarded. In 1846 Fillmore founded the University of Buffalo.

7. James Monroe (1817-1825)


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Growing up in Virginia, James Monroe had an education that began at home, where his mother Elizabeth tutored him. When he was 11, he went to Campbelltown Academy, and here he shone at both mathematics and Latin. In 1774 he began studying at the College of William and Mary. There, Monroe became involved in revolutionary activities. He dropped out in 1775 and joined the Continental Army as an officer, never returning to attain his degree. In June of that year, following the battles of Lexington and Concord, Monroe and a group of older cohorts broke into the Governor’s Palace and stole 200 muskets and 300 swords. The weapons were given to the local militia. Then in 1780 – hoping that a legal education would influence his political career – Monroe began studying law under Thomas Jefferson. He succeeded in his efforts and on March 4, 1817 became the fifth President of the United States.

6. Andrew Jackson (1829-1837)


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By the time he was 15, Andrew Jackson was both an orphan and a veteran of the American Revolutionary War. While still only a teenager, he had been held prisoner by the British and had suffered the loss of two brothers. Jackson had received a certain degree of education, but it was sporadic at best. He thus took his academic career and future into his own hands when he decided to study law in Salisbury, North Carolina. In 1787 Jackson managed to pass the bar and became a country lawyer. In 1788 he moved to the frontier town of Nashville, where he practiced law and quickly became involved in local politics. Jackson would become the state’s first congressman and later a senator.

In 1801 Jackson was named commander of the Tennessee militia and led his forces to several heroic victories. His actions during the War of 1812 made him a national hero and earned him a gold medal and the Thanks of Congress. Sworn in on March 4, 1829, Jackson held office as the seventh president of the US until March 4, 1837.

5. Grover Cleveland (1885-1889 and 1893-1897)


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Grover Cleveland was born in Caldwell, New Jersey on March 18, 1837 and grew up in Fayetteville, New York. He attended school until he was 16 years old, when the death of his father forced him to drop out and contribute to supporting the family. Thanks to his brother William, he became an assistant teacher at the New York Institute for the Blind, but he only stayed in the position for a year. And although one of Cleveland’s church elders had offered to finance his college education on the condition that he become a minister, he chose to move out west instead.

In Buffalo, Cleveland’s uncle employed him as a clerk and introduced him to a group of influential figures. He began working for law firm Rogers, Bowen, and Rogers, which paved the way for him to pass the bar exam in 1859. Not letting his lack of formal education hold him back, Cleveland went on to become the mayor of Buffalo and the governor of New York. He was elected president for two non-consecutive terms – 1885 to 1889 and 1893 to 1897. He remains the only president to have served two non-consecutive terms.

4. William Henry Harrison (1841)


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William Henry Harrison was born into a notable political family in Charles City, Virginia on February 9, 1773. Growing up in Virginia, he studied Latin and French at various academic institutions. Eventually he ended up in Philadelphia and in 1790 enrolled at the University of Pennsylvania, where he studied medicine. Apparently, Harrison didn’t much care for the subject, though, so when his father died a year later and left him without any funds to continue his education, the 18-year-old Harrison decided to join the US Army.

Harrison was in the army for seven years, after which he retired and set his sights on a political career, becoming the Indiana Territory’s governor in 1801. He became the ninth President of the United States on March 3, 1841. Unfortunately, Harrison is best known for having served the briefest term in US presidential history. He died of pneumonia and septicemia on April 4, 1841, just a month after his inauguration.

3. George Washington (1789-1797)


George Washington was born on February 22, 1732 in Westmoreland, Virginia. He spent his childhood in Virginia, where he was educated by several different tutors and also attended an Anglican clergyman-run school. When Washington was just 11 years old, his father died. This prevented the boy from furthering his education at Appleby School in England as planned.

Explaining his rise to prominence, Washington said, “My mother was the most beautiful woman I ever saw. All I am I owe to my mother. I attribute my success in life to the moral, intellectual and physical education I received from her.” Washington held office as the first president of the US from 1789 to 1797. And even though he himself never graduated, he considered education paramount and said, “A primary object should be the education of our youth in the science of government. In a republic, what species of knowledge can be equally important? And what duty more pressing than communicating it to those who are to be the future guardians of the liberties of the country?”

2. Abraham Lincoln (1861-1865)


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Abraham Lincoln was born in Hodgenville, Kentucky on February 12, 1809. He received very little academic training during his formative years. By the time he came of age, his limited schooling from itinerant teachers amounted to an ability to “read, write and cipher.” Describing his childhood, he said, “It was a wild region, with many bears and other wild animals still in the woods. There I grew up… Of course when I came of age I did not know much.”

However, Lincoln was an ambitious learner and eagerly devoured any book he could get his hands on, including those on law. An autodidactic approach to legal studies, along with his dedication and hard work, enabled Lincoln to become a practicing lawyer. He spent eight years on the Illinois legislature and traveled courtroom to courtroom for years. Lincoln said he viewed education as “the most important subject which we as a people can be engaged in.” One of his law partners described his ambition as “a little engine that knew no rest.” Lincoln held presidential office from March 4, 1861 until his assassination on April 15, 1865.

1. Harry S. Truman (1945-1953)


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Harry S. Truman was born in Lamar, Missouri on May 8, 1884 and enjoyed history, piano and reading as a young child. In 1901 he graduated from Independence High School (now known as William Chrisman High School). Although he enrolled in Spalding’s Commercial College to study business, Truman dropped out after just one semester. He gave higher education another go in 1923 when he took night classes at the Kansas City School of Law (now known as the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law), but dropped out again in 1925, after he lost his administrative government job with the Jackson County Court.

Truman became a US senator in 1934, and on January 20, 1945, he became vice president, serving under Franklin D. Roosevelt. On April 12, 1945, the shock death of President Roosevelt thrust Truman into the limelight, the vice president having only been in his position for 82 days. He became the 33rd President of the United States, holding office until January 20, 1953. Truman is the most recent US president to have never obtained a college degree. However, the politician still realized the importance of education, saying, “Without a strong educational system democracy is crippled. Knowledge is not only key to power. It is the citadel of human freedom.”

Top 30 Communications Blogs of 2013

top-30-communicationsCommunications is a nebulous and often frustrating field for newcomers. The task of communication is more difficult than many first understand. Since business depends on the ability to communicate with customers, investors, the press, bosses, and employees, the opportunities for specialists in communications are many. This article lists thirty of the foremost blogs in the communications industry, six in each of five categories consisting of Public Relations, Journalism, Market Research, News, and General Communications. Each blog provides the reader with unique insight into its particular field, and these blogs will be helpful not only in aiding prospective communications professionals find their focus, but also in providing tips, techniques, and strategies that will be helpful to making a strong start in your field of choice.

Public Relations

1. Spin Sucks is a public relations and marketing professional development resource. The blog seeks to eliminate destructive spin from the field. The hope is to rehabilitate the reputation of Public Relations and focus industry professionals on positive and constructive techniques.
Highlight: The Best of the Least Engaged Brands on Twitter

2. PR in Your Pajamas is a light hearted look at Public Relations from an industry veteran. Elena Verlee is dedicated to imparting to her readers the knowledge gained during her 2+ decades in the industry.
Highlight: 5 Elements of Strategic Public Relations

3. PR Blog is a public relations strategy blog focused on helping readers leverage new technologies to their fullest potential in the PR industry. The blog covers everything from effectively using social media, to the best ways of effectively dividing tasks and responsibilities.
HighlightWho Should Own Content Marketing in Your Organization?

4. PR-Squared is the blog of an internationally celebrated Social Media and Public Relations innovator. Todd Defren digs into numbers and research to determine the optimal ways to maximize social networking and other high impact technologies.
Highlight: Did You Know that 70% of Facebook Users are Mobile?

5. The Flack analyzes emerging trends among multiple industries such as Politics, Journalism, Entertainment, Technology, and Social Media. The blog examines the actions of the titans in these industries and seeks to understand the implications of the strategies and methods they employ, while also evaluating the effectiveness of those strategies and methods based on the intent.
Highlight: The Shifty Press Release


7. Journerdism is the blog of self described nerd Will Sullivan. The blog features content on how journalism is affected by emerging technologies, and also features analysis and commentary on tech news.
Highlight: Spring and the Blossoming of Multimedia Skills

8. Megan Taylor is a freelance web developer and journalist. Her blog features commentary and analysis on the technological aspects of journalism. From tutorials to help budding freelances understand web design principles, to describing how to fully utilize technologies such as twitter as an independent freelance journalist, there’s something for every journalist here.
Highlight: My Ideal Twitter Client

9. BuzzMachine is the blog of Jeff Jarvis, journalism professor and author. Buzz Machine features analysis and commentary on current events in journalism and a critical view of the field as a whole.
Highlight: Apologies

10. Common Sense Journalism is all about reminding journalists of the basics. The blogger’s point of view is that journalism is a great profession, and easier than many make it out to be, as long as journalists use common sense in their reporting.
Highlight: Using the “Marathon” Hashtag to Promote a Golf Tournament?

11. Digidave is a blog with a strong point of view; “journalism is a process, not a product” is the tagline of the blog. The blog offers an entrepreneurial perspective on journalism, as Dave Cohn who has written for many publications, is also an entrepreneur.
Highlight: The Emotional Highs and Lows of a Startup

12. Jon Slattery is a freelance UK journalist. His blog features commentary on journalism and major issues taking place in the United Kingdom.
Highlight: Quotes of the Week: From a Fond Farewell for Ferguson to Burchill on the Joy of Punctuation

Market Research

13. Pew Research Center provides research, commentary and analysis invaluable to those in the Market Research field. The center’s research and analysis efforts are extensive and cover a wide range of subjects.
Highlight: In Time for Graduation Season, a Look at Student Debt

14. iMedia Connection is a marketing blog devoted to strengthening the online marketing community. The site features news, analysis and commentary on various trends and innovations in the marketing industry, including market research.
Highlight: How Parenting has Taught me to Appreciate Market Research

15. Next Gen Market Research is about transcending Market Research by leveraging the full potential of the information gathering associated with the field. The blogger is Tom H. C. Anderson, the founder of Anderson Analytics and well known Market Research innovator.
Highlight: Text Analytics with Six Sigma

16. Blog | is run by Frank Gilbane, known widely in the marketing community for his seminars and conferences. His blog deals with many aspects of marketing, but the gathering and interpreting of information is a central theme running through his blog.
Highlight: Customer Experiences, Communications, and Analytics

17. MarketingExperiments Blog is devoted to innovation in marketing. The blog’s writers conduct and report on experimental, innovative techniques throughout the field, including market research techniques.
Highlight: Web Usability: People don’t Need Many Options, they Need the Right Options

18. w5 Insight examines emerging trends in marketing and market research with the goal of helping readers sift through the marketing morass to find the strategies that actually work, and the information they need.
Highlight: Robots and Drones: The Future of MR?

News Blogs

19. The Huffington Post is one of the most successful news blogs on the internet. The pieces are almost always opinion pieces, and the site stands as a great example of the market for opinion based news blogging on the internet.
Highlight: AP Phone Records Seized By Justice Department As War On Leaks Continues

20. NPR’s The Two Way brings the level headed NPR tone to the internet. Don’t look here for sensationalized opinion pieces on controversial subjects designed to generate traffic. Instead this blog demonstrates that there is still a place on the internet for the classic journalist’s approach.
Highlight: Poll: Americans Split Over Benghazi Issue

21. The Raw Story offers both real opinion journalism along with coverage of the best of news satire. The blog strays from the “fair and balanced” approach in favor of the belief that there is room for a strong progressive point of view in opinion journalism. Highlight: Installment Loans Trap Low Income Borrowers with 182% Interest Rates

22. National Geographic’s News Watch focuses on publishing news regarding science, nature, and cultural news instead of current events and politics.
Highlight: Serious Space Station Leak Provokes Weekend Spacewalk

23. Reuters | Analysis and Opinion Blogs features contributing bloggers from the top echelon of a wide variety of professions and perspectives. The opinion and analysis pieces take a measured look at the most important news of the day.
Highlight: Poor Little Rich Kids

24. Blogs at the New York Daily News is an example of the major players in print journalism recognizing the legitimacy and importance of the online market. Bloggers on major news sites often consist of major figures in print and television journalism, but many bloggers that gain a wide following on the internet through their personal efforts are also brought in to the fold.
Highlight: A Short Story You Can Lick: New Irish Stamp Features Young Dubliner’s Creative Writing

Communications Blogs

25. The Communication Blog focuses on interpersonal communication. The blog focuses primarily on public speaking and interview communication techniques designed to help readers become effective public speakers.
Highlight: Conversational Empathy

26. SuzeMuse blogger Susan Murphy takes a hard look at social media tactics, examining what works, what doesn’t, and why some actions end up being wildly succesful for some, an not others. The internet is a place of incredible potential, but just because something works wonderfully once, doesn’t mean it ever will again.
Highlight: Stop Lurking. Start Participating.

27. Strategic Communications strives to provide insight on communications strategies to non-profit, education, and healthcare organizations. Many such organizations live and die by their ability to communicate with stakeholders and employees, yet lack an understanding of how to do so effectively from their position as non-profit organizations.
Highlight: Is Social Media Advertising or PR?-Duh!

28. Presentation Zen is all about creating and executing high impact presentations. From utilizing technology effectively, to knowing when and how to engage the audience on a personal level, Presentation Zen examines the art of effective presentation from all angles.
Highlight: No Excuse for Boring an Audience: Advice on Giving Technical Presentations

29. The EAT Blog is all about communicating effectively with your customers. The EAT (Evolve and Transcend) Blog is an extension of Evolve and Transcend’s website where they expound upon strategies for authentic communication through the creation of personable, quality user experiences.
Highlight: Can We Have a Difficult Conversation, Please?

30. Joyful Public Speaking (from fear to joy) is a blog devoted to helping readers overcome the all too common fear of public speaking.
Highlight: Don’t Use Official Language!

Top 30 Law Blogs of 2013

top-30-lawThere is no aspect of life that is not affected by Law, and, by extension, the legal system. The field is broad and the roles are many. From legal assistants to paralegals to lawyers, legal professionals are responsible for helping individuals and corporations navigate the complex legal system.

This is a list of thirty of the most prominent law blogs. The list spans many fields and specialties. The blogs included will be useful to any legal professional in a given field, or curious about a field in which they do not yet specialize.

Best Law Blogs

1. China Law Blog is a business law blog that deals with the intricacies of doing business with and in China. Whether a company seeks to export to China, or to outsource labor there, this blog is a great resource for keeping up to date with Chinese business law.
Highlight: Think you have a China Trademark or a China Company? Think again.

2. The Volokh Conspiracy is a group blog primarily featuring posts from its law professor bloggers. The blog deals mostly with current subject matter from an academic point of view.
Highlight: A Constitutional Law Lesson For Steve Benan

3. iPhone J.D. deals with technology from a legal point of view. From helping lawyers secure their phones (and the important information accessed through them) against attacks, to highlighting the newest useful apps and tech tools for lawyers.
Highlight: Protecting Your iPhone with Two Step Verification

4. Employment Law Group Whistleblower Blog features updates on current cases involving whistle-blowers and the laws pertaining to them. The blog’s focus is on keeping its readers apprised on the constant evolution in law regarding the ins and outs of blowing the whistle, including what’s legal and what’s not concerning the actions of both the whistle-blower and the other interests involved.
Highlight: Federal Jury Awards Whistleblower $3.5 Million in Alaska Retaliation Case

5. SCOTUSblog is the law blog reader’s go-to source for news and information about all things involving the Supreme Court of the United States. The blog provides analysis of major current and future cases and decisions.
Highlight: The Plan B Pill Dispute Explained

6. Lawyerist is all about the ins and outs of life as a lawyer. From avoiding accidentally giving legal advice, to covering emerging trends in the law world, such as blogging itself. The goal of the site is to help legal professionals navigate sometimes treacherous waters.
Highlight: Removed by Editor

7. Law Insider is all about the business side of the legal field. The blog explores various opportunities for jumping into new and potentially lucrative fields, and talks about the intricacies of interactions between businesses and fields such as biology and the ethics of patenting human DNA.
Highlight: Should Researchers and Scientists Be Able to Claim Human DNA as Their Intellectual Property?

8. Lessig is the blog of Lawrence Lessig, considered one of the most influential minds in legal academia. He blogs about issues that sit at the crossroads of law and technology, often dealing with modern copyright law. He is a copyright reform advocate and sits on the advisory panel of Creative Commons.
Highlight: The Continuing Debate Over the @aaronsw Prosecution

9. Startup Lawyer is the blog of Ryan Roberts, who specializes in serving entreprenuers and their startups by providing them legal services. The blog is a forum for him to discuss some of his insights on the finer points of business law as it applies to new companies.
Highlight: Price Cap Liquidation Preference Windfall Regulators

10. Ms. J.D. is the blog of a non-profit, non-partisan organization that shares its name and is dedicated to helping women in legal professions achieve their full potential while improving their overall experience.
Highlight: A Life Outside Law School–The Secret to OCI

11. IPWatchdog is a premier source for coverage of the intellectual property realm. The blog covers the emerging intricacies of intellectual property law from all angles.
Highlight: Software Patentes: Drafting for Litigation and a Global Economy.

12. Law Professor Blog Network features blog posts from a variety of law professors on their specialties and law academia in general. The site features posts directly on the site as well as links to posts by members on other sites and personal sites.
Highlight: Allocating Antitrust Risk in M&A Agreements

13. Althouse conveniently allows readers to access a version of the blog that features only law posts instead of both law and personal posts. The blog focuses on covering current events from a legal perspective.
Highlight: Judge Rips Obama’s Right Wing Plan B Stance

14. Lawyernomics features commentary and analysis on the subject of  legal practice marketing and other economic issues. The site features breakdowns of the most effective and efficient ways to grow a legal practice or law firm as well as providing new lawyers and legal professionals with advice about the best ways to make money in the field.
Highlight: How do People Find and Hire Attorneys?

15. Simple Justice is the blog of a New York criminal defense attorney. The blog’s content features his musings on the criminal justice legal system, and turns its eye on current cases to use as examples.
Highlight: The Passion of Prosecutors

16. Rainmaker Lawyer is all about how to make money in the legal field and how to reach your full potential. The blog is primarily focused on marketing–how to attract the best clients.
Highlight: Law Firms Trying to Win the Marketing Lottery

17. Blog Law Blog deals with current events from a legal perspective. The blog primarily features interesting stories with more of a local or smaller perspective that get ignored by larger media sources.
Highlight: Revising the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act

18. NFA Gun Trust Lawyer Blog is devoted to following and analyzing current trends in regard to gun control law, specifically the laws involving gun trusts. Gun trusts are legal entities set up often times by gun owners to ensure their ability to responsibly share firearms and pass them down to family.
Highlight: Can my Friends and I Use the Same Gun Trust to Share Firearms?

19. Removed by Editor
20. Non Profit Law Blog strives to help educate non-profit organizations and the lawyers representing them on the intricacies of the unique sets of laws governing non-profits.
Highlight: Nonprofit Social Enterprises

21. Cybercrime Review is a blog focusing on the intricacies of laws dealing with technology and the internet. The blog seeks to bring the analytical gaze of legal professionals and start trying to find answers to some of the most pressing questions in modern society.
Highlight: Removed by Editor

22. Law Practice Tips is the blog of Jim Calloway and it is focused on providing legal professionals working in or owning law practices useful tips for success.
Highlight: The Basics of the Lawyer’s iPad

23. Construction Law Musings deals with the many legal issues faced by construction companies and their lawyers. The blog also provides commentary and analysis on emerging legal trends, and changes in construction law.
Highlight: How to Win Big in the Construction Industry

24. Overlawyered is a CATO Institute blog that takes a critical look at the legal system and seeks to demonstrate how it costs much more than it needs to, and should be refined to cut down on costs.
Highlight: The High, High Cost of the Jones Act

25.  Geeks and a Law Blog focuses on examining the environment and culture of large law firms, and providing its readers with ideas as to how one might survive such a competitive environment.
Highlight: Are You Doing it for the Firm, or for the Club?

26. Concurring Opinions is a collaborative blog featuring posts from a variety of contributors on legal topics. The blog has regular contributors but also features guest contributors from time to time.
Highlight: Debating the Shareholder Value Myth

27. Sentencing Law and Policy focuses on providing readers with commentary and analysis on existing and potential sentencing law. The Blog also provides readers with critical analysis of ineffective or outdated sentencing practices.
Highlight: Florida Tries to Speed up Executions as Maryland and Other States Repeal Death Penalty

28. The Legal Satyricon takes a sometimes lighthearted, often irreverent and satyrical look at legal matters. With a world full of many serious legal blogs, this may be a welcome change of pace for many.
Highlight: The New Victorians Strike Campus Yet Again

29. Legal Theory Blog takes an analytic eye to the theory on which modern law is based. The scope of the blog is broad and features commentary on subjects as wide ranging as legal issues in globalization to Hindu concepts of justice.
Highlight: Goldmann on Public and Private Authority and Global Governance

30. Point of Law features critical analysis and commentary directed at the Litigation system in the United States. The blog is sponsored by the Center for Legal Policy at the Manhattan Institute and features articles and discussions from some of the most important minds in legal scholarship.
Highlight: House Judiciary Establishes Bi-Partisan Task Force to Take on Overcriminalization

10 Coolest College Professors in Cinema

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Regardless of the subject you happen be studying, some of your professors are bound to make its instruction an uninspiring and lackluster experience. On the other hand, such mediocre teachings will often be made up for by those brilliant professors who will improve your quality of life for years to come. Great instructors affect us in all kinds of ways: some encourage us to achieve amazing things; others set a good example for their students. Then there are those profs who are just so cool that you can’t help but like them. We list the 10 most impressive college professors in movie history – the ones you always wished you had!

10. Stranger than Fiction: Jules Hilbert

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Stranger Than Fiction was a forgettable 2006 comedy whose only distinguishing features were its premise (a man hears a voice inside his head and realizes that his life is actually a novel being written by a famous author), Will Ferrell’s abortive attempt to do some serious acting, and Dustin Hoffman’s performance as university professor Julius Hilbert. Stern but highly passionate about his subject, Hilbert is the teacher that you wish you could have had in high school. But he’s not only knowledgeable about literature; he’s also so devoted to it that he believes Ferrell’s character should sacrifice his life to create the perfect ending to a story. You have to give him credit for taking his subject seriously.

9. The Eiger Sanction: Dr. Jonathan Hemlock

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Clint Eastwood’s aptly named Dr Hemlock isn’t just a normal professor; he’s a retired government assassin who is occasionally still called upon to eliminate enemies of the United States. In this intense 1975 thriller, he is sent to the Eiger in Switzerland to eliminate an enemy spy – an especially difficult task because of the high altitude conditions and his lack of knowledge of his enemy’s identity. Eastwood plays Hemlock with his normal mixture of steely ruthlessness and charm. While an unflappable secret agent with a passion for mountaineering might not necessarily make for the best college professor, at least he would lead some fun field trips.

8. Animal House: Professor Dave Jennings

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The classic comedy Animal House features some colorful fraternity characters… and Professor Dave Jennings, one of the most memorable cases of institutional boredom ever depicted in the movies. As a left-wing English professor with a strong indifference to his job, his subject, and the university itself, he is the more down-to-earth foil to the other staff members’ megalomania and control freakery. He has a less than flattering view of John Milton: “He’s a little bit long winded, he doesn’t translate very well into our generation and his jokes are terrible.” The professor also smokes copious amounts of marijuana. Hardly surprising that he can relate to his students pretty well, then.

7. The Nutty Professor: Julius Kelp/Buddy Love

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Professor Julius Kelp may be a skinny guy with a voice that could invite a wedgie from any school bully, but appearances aren’t everything. In fact, he’s a bit of a genius, and one whose insecurity about his looks and social ineptitude drives him to create a potion that totally transforms his appearance, personality and abilities. How many college professors can claim such a scientific breakthrough? And if that’s not cool enough, his alter-ego Buddy Love is every Rat Pack member distilled into one: Mr Hyde to his Dr. Jekyll, but with a super natty zoot suit and awesome cocktail-mixing skills.

6. Higher Learning: Professor Maurice Phipps

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Laurence Fishburne’s Professor Phipps is the highlight of Higher Learning. A radical Political Science tutor, he alone amongst the characters in the film makes a serious effort to break through his students’ prejudices and teach them to stop viewing the world through a lens of racism. His dedication to teaching his students to face the real world is also a total contrast to some of the more irresponsible entries on this list: “In the real world, no one wants to hear excuses or empty rhetoric. They want to know that you have a plan.” Now, if only more real world politicians would follow that advice…

5. Shadowlands: C.S. Lewis

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In a role that echoes his famous performance in The Remains of the Day (released the same year), Anthony Hopkins stars as the lead in the romantic drama Shadowlands. The flick concerns writer and academic C.S. Lewis’ romance with Joy Gresham, a feisty American poet, in the 1950s. Lewis is portrayed as a quiet man, great with kids and easy to imagine as an effective teacher – not surprising, since he wrote some of the most popular children’s books of the 20th century. The culture clash between stuffy British academics and the more adventurous Americans may be a bit stereotypical, but Hopkins’ powerful performance and chemistry with fellow actor Debra Winger really manage to elevate this movie to a whole new level.

4. Drumline: Dr. Lee

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This tightly-choreographed movie about rival marching bands at an American university is an unusual take on the normal sporting movie formula. Dr. Lee, played by Orlando Jones, is a college professor and the mentor of a young freshman who joins the school on a band scholarship. The professor is completely devoted to the one thing that makes the university great: its students’ terrific drumming skills. A strict music lover with a steely gaze that could make The Terminator flinch, Lee is essentially the mentor character from every Hollywood sporting movie condensed into one. The fact that he happens to lead a marching band just means that his job takes even more guts.

3. Diary of the Dead: Andrew Maxwell

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George Romero’s zombie movies have a definite prejudice against authority figures, so it’s surprising to find his depiction of a university professor in Diary of the Dead so positive. Film Studies faculty adviser Andrew Maxwell may be a traumatized alcoholic, but he’s also a skilled war veteran with many weapons, and definitely someone you can rely on – whether you need help coping with final exams or fighting off hordes of the undead! No matter how crazy the situation, Maxwell takes it in stride, and his philosophical approach, ready supply of drink and occasional well-aimed arrows prove to be a match for anything – even a horde of ravenous zombies.

2. The Paper Chase: Charles W. Kingsfield Jr.

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Possibly the scariest thing for a newly arriving student is a strict teacher, particularly one with a knack for breaking down his pupils and exposing their weaknesses to the world. In The Paper Chase, Charles Kingsfield is an incredibly intimidating Harvard law professor who rules his classes with an iron fist. But he certainly has style; witness his reaction to one of his students giving him cheek in class: “Here’s a dime. Call your mother and tell her that there’s serious doubt about your becoming a lawyer.” John Houseman was so terrifying in the role that he won a Best Supporting Actor Oscar for his performance. Whatever else you can say about him, he’s definitely a teacher that gets results. After all, would you even dare turn a paper in late to this guy?

1. Raiders of the Lost Ark: Indiana Jones

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Here’s a professor so adored that some of his female students actually write messages on their faces about how much they love him. And who can blame them? If you were to choose your archaeology professor, wouldn’t you want one who spent most of his time actually investigating ancient ruins and artifacts, rather than just burying himself in a pile of books about them? Just think of the lectures Indiana Jones could give about the time he broke into the ancient temple, stole the idol from the altar and dodged the giant boulder on the way out. Not to mention that, being played by Harrison Ford, he obviously gains a massive amount of coolness kudos right off the bat.

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