September 2, 2008
Why Don't All Law Faculties Have Blogs?
Marquette University Law School has just announced a new faculty blog. Marquette joins a number of other institutions, including, of course, the University of Chicago Law School and the Georgetown Law School in offering commentary through this electronic medium. (See my comment on "Crowdsourcing Obama's Exams" here at the University of Chicago Law Blog.)
Marquette's Dean Joseph Kearney opens the blog by recalling the launch of the Marquette Law Review almost a century ago: On the opening page of the journal it was maintained that “the institution which would expand and fulfill its mission must make known its ideals and communicate its spirit.” W.A. Hayes, Foreword, 1 Marq. L. Rev. 5 (1916). At that time it was clear that “[t]he most effective way of doing both is by means of a suitable magazine.” Id.
Law Schools now utilize a number of methods to disseminate faculty scholarship: (1) law reviews; (2) a law school magazine largely targeted at alumni and fellow academics; (3) occasional papers; and (4) reprints sent by hardcopy. The electronic medium adds: (5) blogs; (6) online forums associated with law reviews; (7) iTunes-style podcasts; and (8) YouTube-style video. (Perhaps others can add to this total so that we can reach a nice round 10!)
Blogs seem a cheap, easy and effective tool to communicate ideas on a current basis to the public--and to invite commentary on the same. The "talking back" made possible through the commentary is a major improvement from the dim possibility of writing a letter to the editor of law reviews, which typically did not provide a forum for quick responses in their print journals.
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