August 05, 2012
Who wants to help me make "Law Profs in Loafers getting Lattes"?
The question in the title of this post is prompted by this new web-series from Jerry Seinfeld which is titled "Comedians in Cars getting Coffe." While I am certain that watching law professors walk to a coffee shop will be much less entertaining than what Seinfeld is creating, I am also certain that I would rather enjoy watching the likes of, say, Larry Tribe and Cass Sunstein walking to Harvard Square to grab a cup of joe. (Or, better yet in the hope of getting this post linked by some of the most popular law prof bloggers, perhaps the first episodes should feature Eugene Volokh with Orin Kerr and Ann Althouse with Paul Caron and Dan Markel with Dan Solove.)
I think I am (nearly) serious about the notion of creating a web-series with talking and walking law profs, so anyone with some venture capital (or a good video camera and some web skills) ought to contact me. For the time being as I think about how to get this project off the ground, perhaps readers can recommend sets of law profs they would like to see paired together for a trip to Starbucks.
Posted by DAB
September 05, 2011
Identifying the disconnect at the center of the "law school scam"
I still continue to find Inside the Law School Scam an interesting and useful read, and this passage from a recent post comparing law schools to other graduate programs (and some follow-up comments) has helped me to see the heart of the problem that keeps pumping blood though the modern legal education market and has allowed the so-called "law school scam" to develop and continue. First the passage from ILSS (with my emphasis added), then my explanation:
[It] is an interesting comparison [between law schools and the huge recent expansion of creative writing MFA programs], although in some ways an obviously inapt one. No one goes into an MFA program intending to make lots of money. Indeed it's notable that such programs never focus on producing successful genre writers -- i.e., the next Stephen King or John Grisham -- but are rather dedicated almost exclusively to literary fiction. Nor, as far as I know, do MFA programs engage in industry-wide placement stat deception. (Unlike business schools I know something about these programs because my best friend and his wife are graduates of one). The biggest distinction between law schools and MFA programs goes to the crucial issue of what economists call psychic income. Lots of people grow up hoping to write the Great American Novel. Nobody grows up hoping to one day be Henry Kravis's water carrier on a big M&A deal. People go to law school, with occasional exceptions, in order to acquire a respectable and well-paid career. MFA programs cater to peoples' dreams. Law school is where dreams go to die (Yes I'm generalizing).
Implicit in this passage are three critical contentions/assumptions about the professional thinking of some (many? most?) law students: (1) students go to law school intending to "make lots of money" (not because they dream of practicing law), (2) students expect that "average" performance at an "average" law school will result in a in a "respectable and well-paid career," and (3) students rely on deceptive law school placement stats to justify these decisions and expectations.
I trust some (many? most?) law students — especially those who are most aggrieved and vocal in their complains about the "law school scam" — would endorse these three critical contentions/assumptions and agree they help explain why so many recent graduates are now so upset that they "invested" so much in law school and are now not getting a fair (or any) return on that investment.
Changing perspectives, let me articulate what I suspect to be professional thinking of some (many? most?) law professors: (A) students interested primarily in making money should go to business school (because only those with lawyer dreams will be happy lawyers), (B) students with "average" grades at an "average" law school can find legal jobs, but they will need to "pick up their game" in practice to have a "well-paid" legal career, and (C) students who make serious and savvy efforts to find a legal job will eventually get a legal job.
Perhaps I am wrong to assert that others would embrace points A, B, and C above, but these realities account for why I personally have not been attuned to "law school scam" complaints until quite recently. I have long believed that (A) those who went to law school for "the wrong reasons" were unlikely to be happy no matter their professional success, (B) my "average" students could and would find legal work at a living wage, and (C) I can help my students land a legal job if they are serious and savvy in their efforts. (Indeed, I still hold these views, though I now better understand that (too) many law students may be in it "just for the money" and that the recession has made it much harder for "average" students to find legal work at a living wage. But while these students may often feel "scammed," they do not often come by my office to ask for job-hunting advice. I often have "top" students coming for job advice, typically to ask which of two job opportunities they ought to pursue, which I now realize greatly distorts my perspective on the legal job market.)
Not to be overlooked here is the inevitable affinity for law schools to spotlight — in recruiting materials and alumni publications — their most successful and happy graduates and to "hide" their least successful and miserable graduates. A coming attractions even for a lousy Jack Black movie creates the (deceptive?) impression everyone should spend money on that movie even though only Jack Black fans will be content with the product. (This preview metaphor justifies greater transparency in law school employment data — i.e., studios should not "scam" Brad Pitt fans into paying to see a Jack Black movie by having the whole preview focus on a tiny Brad Pitt cameo. But this metaphor might help students appreciate the unique (insulated) perspective of law professors: law profs are essentially Jack Black fans (read, law geeks) who assume the only folks paying for their movie (law school) are fellow Jack Black fans who should still appreciate the experience even though better movies (other professional opportunities) might be at the Cineplex.)
So, even as I grow more aware/attune to the "law school scam" and suffering grads, I still have a hard time viewing law professors as avaricious Ponzi schemers eager to drive students into a lifetime of debt to fund a lavish lifestyle. Instead, I see a group of well-meaning service-providers (law professors/schools) working earnestly to provide what they consider a valuable non-economic service ("teaching students how to think like a lawyer") to some people who are paying a lot of money (law students) problematically believing they are getting a valuable economic service ("becoming a practicing lawyer").
To the extent that deceptive placement stats fuel this disconnect between the "law school service" most law professors seek to provide and what some (many? most?) law students actually want and expect, more honest employment data should help considerably. But if one fears (as I do) that much bigger societal and human psychology forces are in play, more honest employment data is just a first step on a long journey toward a sounder legal education system.
Posted by DAB
September 5, 2011 in Admissions to law school, Blogging by lawyers and law professors, Legal profession realities and developments, Serving students, The mission of law schools | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack
September 01, 2011
Imagining a "Lawyer Peace Corps" or "Lawyering for America" to do good while helping new law grads to better
I continue to find thought-provoking the posts and comments over at Inside the Law School Scam, as well as some of the still active student scam-blogs. And, via these sources, I sense there is growing mainstream discussion of modern legal education costs/benefits within the legal profession, as evidenced by these recent pieces from the Chicago Lawyer and the Connecticut Law Tribune:
- "Recent grads question decision to go to law school"
- "The New JD: Just Debt? Job Disabled? Justifiably Depressed?"
As I keep read these blogs and keep hear stories of successful recent law students having no success finding jobs upon graduation, I keep thinking about the very large number of (mostly poor) persons with unmet legal needs in the United States. As the title of this post suggests, I cannot help but imagine the creation of some mass program for young lawyers to do good work — whether modeled on programs like the Peace Corps or Teach for America — as a means of helping unemployed recent law grads do better by doing good.
As a criminal law professor who specializes in sentencing issues, I am most attuned to the huge number of criminal defendants and ex-offenders — literally millions of Americans — who could benefit greatly from legal advice but who, for financial or others reasons, completely lack access to lawyers or are underserved by (overworked) appointed lawyers. And I know that lawyers surely could be helping (mostly poor) people struggling with many modern American social challenges — challenges ranging from foreclosure problems, to immigration issues, to family law matters, to health care coverage, to access to education and professional opportunities.
In other words, our society now has a glut of underemployed junior lawyers and a glut of underserved legal needs. The private legal marketplace — for many reasons, though mostly because the people with the most needs have the least money — seems unable to connect these potential service-providers and these legal needs. But a well-structured government program or public-policy-group initiative could and should be able to do much better in connecting the potential legal service-providers with all the persons need these services.
I can think of lots of different ways to potentially structure a "Lawyer Peace Corps" or a "Lawyering for America" program — e.g., new grads could have government debts slashed for being in the program a certain number of years, some law schools (or particular classes/clinics) could serve as formal feeders. But I can also think of a lot of potential objections/problems — e.g., might junior lawyers with limited training make some legal problems worse for those now without lawyers?
For now, I just wanted to throw the idea out and see if I can get any reactions (at least from my co-bloggers).
Posted by DAB
September 1, 2011 in Blogging by lawyers and law professors, Legal profession realities and developments, Service -- legal profession, Serving students, The mission of law schools | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack
August 29, 2011
Does three years in law school have "value" other than as the means to a professional degree?
The question in the title of this post keeps coming to my mind as I read posts and comments over at Inside the Law School Scam, as well as discussions at various scam-blogs in which the basic theme is that the huge debt law schools require (encourage?) students to incur is a scam because there are no (well-paying) law jobs to be found. In this recent post, LawProf does an armchair cost/benefit assessment of the potential professional "return" on a law degree investment priced at $300K in terms of actual and opportunity costs. Missing from the LawProf analysis (as he concedes) is any discussion of the potential "value" of law school (and of being a lawyer) other than as the means to a profession degree that could (but may not) increase one's earning power/potential.
Two subsequent posts by Law Prof with the following comments, in turn, has me really wondering about the "value" of the (expensive) modern three-year law school experience:
That law is an unhappy profession has more to do with factors that law schools can do little about...
The vast majority of law students are in no way interested in paying $150,000 for a three-year continuation of their liberal arts education. They didn't go to law school because they wanted to go to graduate school to study law. They went to law school (leaving aside those who are killing time because they have no real idea what they want to do) because they were presented with a barrier to entry to the practice of law that required them to go to school for three more years, period, full stop.
I know some practicing lawyers who would agree that "law is an unhappy profession," but I also know many more practicing lawyers who really like their jobs (and not merely because they make more than a living wage). But putting aside the important question of whether law really is "an unhappy profession," this premise necessarily casts a completely different light on the "value" and vices of modern legal education. If law practice really is an "unhappy profession," law schools would seem to justify praise for giving students as a last bit of (expensive) fun (or at least ease) before they have to enter the "unhappy" profession in the real-world.
Moreover, at the same time I seriously question the premise that "law is an unhappy profession," I also question the suggestion that most new law students know where and how they wanted to "practice law" (as opposed to just knowing they want to have a good white-collar job in a certain region). The real "value" I see in the modern law school program is to provide a (comfortable?) space, significant time and considerable resources to enable bright young people (or second career people) to figure out just what "practicing law" might really mean for them.
Put differently, in addition to believing modern law schools provide a solid education in what I would call "advanced American civics," I also believe modern law schools provide a good opportunity for bright young people (or second career people) to find out about different ways they might make a living from being bright as a lawyer. To me, this is especially key to the "value" of law school programs lasting three years: most think-like-a-lawyer training can be achieved during the 1L year, but the following two years provide space, time, and resources for students figure out where and how they can find a "happy" place within what for (too) many may be an "unhappy profession."
That all said, students are often paying a lot (roughly $100K if they are paying full tuition) for the opportunity to explore what law practice might mean for them over their final 2 years in law school. Moreover, if those final two years end up further limiting a student's professional options after graduation (because of bad grades or other factors), I fully understand considerable post-graduation frustration.
Still, I know from my own experiences that I benefited personally and professionally from having extra time in law school to figure out my own professional goals (though my concerns about the loans accrued were diminished by a decent lawyer job market in the 1990s). And here I wanted to supplement my co-blogger's recent post on the good things about the 3L year, as well as encourage readers to share their perspectives on the "value" (and/or vices) of a relatively long modern law school program.
Posted by DAB
August 18, 2011
Seeking comments/thoughts in this (safe?) forum on law school scam blogging and ITLSS
Prompted in part by this new blog authored by the anonymous LawProf called "Inside the Law School Scam," and in part by a terrific former student who has been sending me e-mails with his perspective on the legal marketplace and law school realities, I have been giving extra thought of late to the concept of the modern law school as a scam. This bit of extra thinking, in turn, has led me to read a bit more regularly a few of the sizeable number of law student scam blogs, such as:
- But I Did Everything Right!
- Exposing The Law School Scam
- First Tier Toilet !
- Outside Lies Magic
- Shilling Me Softly
- Subprime JD
- Tales of the Fourth-Tier Nothing
- The Law School Tuition Bubble
- The PresTTTigious Legal "Profession"
- THIRD TIER REALITY
I have lots of reactions to all this buzz about law school as a scam, but for now I just wanted to create a space here for discussion of these issues if anyone is interested in having a dialogue in a setting whether the rhetoric and emotion (and stakes?) are not running so high.
Posted by DAB
UPDATE: The anonymous LawProf running the blog "Inside the Law School Scam" has now been outed as Professor Paul Campos at Colorado. And Paul Caron has an extraordinary helpful round-up of all the buzzing in this post.
June 03, 2010
Does anyone have any experience with the BlogWorld conference?
I just got an e-mail inviting me to take advantage of early bird registration for the 2010 BlogWorld & New Media Expo and Conference taking place this October in Las Vegas. Since I am always eager to have an excuse to go to Vegas and since I am also eager to figure out a way to take my law blogging to another level (whatever that means), I am thinking seriously about trying to make it to this event.
I am a bit concerned, however, that this BlogWorld event may be more geared to techies and others more interested in marketing than in content creation and dissemination. Consequently, I am posting here (and in some other blog locales) this bleg for information and feedback on the BlogWorld experience. Relatedly, I filled out a form to offer to be a speaker at the BlogWorld event (which would make registration free and likely could have other benefits), and I would love to hear from anyone as to whether trying to speak at this event sounds like a sensible idea.
Posted by DAB
January 27, 2010
Could the iPad help transform law school and even lawyering?
It has taken me only a few minutes to decide that I now want and need an iPad, though I am fearful (or perhaps hopeful) that the new Apple gizmo will be much better for reading blogs than for writing them.
Also, I am also already thinking about whether an iPad and other forthcoming similar e-tablet technologies might alter the resource and technology universe for lawyers, law professors and law students.
I have never tried to do any kind of legal research or legal writing on my Droid smartphone, and I suspect that there are relatively few smartphone apps that are truly helpful to the average lawyer or law student. In addition, I have been disappointed by the potential for my first-generation Kindle to be a means or medium for me to do professional reading of cases and other legal materials. The Apple folks are touting the iPad as having some of the best aspects of modern e-readers and modern netbooks. If this is true, I can readily imagine the possibility of an iPad with applications that are especially lawyer-friendly and lawyer-useful.
Thoughts, dear readers? Is anyone (other than me) eager to read this blog on an iPad?
(Cross-posted at SL&P)
January 15, 2009
Livestreaming litigation as real-world education
Prof. Charlie Nesson convinced Judge Nancy Gertner (US District Court, MA) to allow videocameras to stream coverage of the proceedings in RIAA vs. Tenenbaum, one of the most high-profile (and perhaps last) cases in which the record industry is going after an individual for alleged copyright infringement. Nesson has always seen this case as not just an effort to vindicate Tenenabaum, but also a learning opportunity for people (and not just law students) to see the law in action.
The cases will be "narrowcast" by Courtroom View Network onto the website of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard. I'll be curious if anyone plans to make use of this opportunity for their classes.
(The RIAA itself has, unsurprisingly, been tight-lipped on this issue, particularly as they recently decided against any future efforts of the same kind).
December 01, 2008
An exciting honor from the ABA for LSI
I was both extraordinarily excited and quite surprised to discover that LSI has won a place on the ABA's latest and greatest list of the best legal blogs. This post on the ABA's blog, titled "50 New Sites Make 2nd Annual ABA Journal Blawg 100," provides the basic back story:
On our second annual list of the best legal blogs, just half of last year’s honorees make a return appearance.
What explains the high turnover? For one thing, every day new legal blogs are started, and some existing blogs—including some that appeared on last year’s list—cease to be updated regularly. Plus, some of the upstart blogs are just plain better than some that made the cut last year.
This year, blogs that aren’t updated at least weekly—no matter how interesting—often didn’t make the grade. We put a premium on blogs that broke news in 2008, or were among the first to provide trenchant analysis of one or more breaking legal news stories.
Speaking for the whole LSI team, I feel comfortable saying we are all grateful and honored that the folks at ABA put this blog on its Top 100 list. We are in some impressive company as one of 15 blogs nominated in the Professors category of the ABA Journal Blawg 100.
Posted by DAB
September 02, 2008
Law school faculty blogs: Louisville's approach
I heartily concur in Anupam Chander's sentiment that a law school faculty blog represents "a cheap, easy and effective tool to communicate ideas on a current basis to the public." I also welcome the Marquette University Law School Faculty Blog as the newest variation on this very effective form of law school innovation.
At the University of Louisville, we've hosted a faculty-wide blog since fall 2007. Louisville's faculty-wide blog, accessible at http://www.law.louisville.edu/blog, aggregates smaller, independent blogs written by individual faculty members. A very good example is Tony Arnold's blog, Mapping the Landscape: Resources on Land Use & the Environment.
Interested readers therefore have two ways of following Tony's work. They may read his observations on land use and environmental law by reading Mapping the Landscape: Resources on Land Use & the Environment, or better yet, subscribing to its RSS feed. Other readers follow Louisville's consolidated faculty blog in its entirety, which likewise has an RSS feed of its own.
For my part, I maintain an official dean's blog called The Cardinal Lawyer. Together, my colleagues' individual blogs, the consolidated University of Louisville Law Faculty Blog, and The Cardinal Lawyer have drawn positive attention from our students, from our alumni, from the broader practicing bar, and from legal academia at large.
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.
August 18, 2008
Does a Critical Remark About Opinions Expressed By a Commenter or Blogger On Another Blog Constitute Bullying?
Following up on Mark Osler's post, there are two issues: one is advance notification to commenters. The second, using trackbacks to give to bloggers a heads-up. Chime in and take our just launched polls at A Kierkegaardian Leap of Faith in Social Media on Law Librarian Blog. -- Joe Hodnicki
February 21, 2008
Examining state of the law professor blogosphere
As noted here on The Race to the Bottom blog, Professor J. Robert Brown has just posted a paper on law faculty blogs, Of Empires, Independents, and Captives: Law Blogging, Law Scholarship, and Law School Rankings on SSRN. Here is the abstract:
Law faculty blogs have been around for much of the new millennium. This article examines these blogs, including their role in the legal scholarship continuum and their growing influence of legal community.
The paper begins with an evolutionary study, noting that law blogging originally began in a state of nature, with few rules governing frequency or content of posts. Increased competition and the emergence of Empire and Captive law blogs, however, has resulted in a growing sense of order on the legal blogosphere. Perhaps as a result, the influence of law blogs has increased.
The paper relies on a list of approximately 130 law faculty blogs and studies the frequency of law review and case citations. The numbers have been undergoing significant growth. The growth is particularly noteworthy given the difficulty in searching for material posted on the Internet.
The paper also studies the impact of law blogging on rankings in the US News. In the short term, blogging can disproportionately benefit law schools and faculty outside the top tier. Blogs can enhance the reputation of the sponsoring faculty member, enable them to route around the biases inherent in the system of law review placements and SSRN downloads, permit a level of participation in the legal debate that might otherwise not be available, and facilitate the dissemination of information important to alumni and other constituencies. Most critically, however, they represent a cost effective mechanism for improving a law school's reputational rankings and, perforce, its overall rankings in the infamous US News and World Report.
Much of the data used in the paper is derived from a list of 130 law faculty blogs, something paired down to the top 50 law faculty blogs. The top 50 was determined based upon a number of ranking metrics. These lists are included as an Appendix to this article.
The paper makes for a very interesting read, and it provides an especially thorough and thoughtful (pro-blogging) descriptive review of the current state and apparent impact of law professor blogs. Still, I must admit that I crave more law prof blogging navel-gazing. Specifically, I hope that Professor Brown, or perhaps others, will build on this work to provide a more critical meta-analysis of law professor blogging, especially as it relates to broader law school innovation issues and the role of law professors in the broader legal and political community.
Posted by DAB
February 09, 2008
A bloggy interview at LexBlog
In this post at LexBlog, Rob La Gatta has put up an interview we did last week discussing, inter alia, how I see blogging impacting traditional legal scholarship: Here are parts of our Q and A:
Rob La Gatta: Do you believe blogs have played a positive role in how law professors teach/articulate their ideas and get their message across?
Doug Berman: Yes, absolutely...although I would say that blogging is a unique kind of media for expressing law professor ideas. I’ve been very fortunate to work in a field and to have kind of an A.D.D. attitude towards it that makes blogs a particularly useful way for me to get out a lot of smaller ideas. But I think for those who are interested in longer-form idea development or other more traditional aspects of the scholarly conversation, blogs can be more challenging than beneficial. That’s where my big support for faculty blogging is based: a vision of the diversity of mediums that are valuable to get ideas out....
Rob La Gatta: How have you seen traditional law reviews adjusting to handle the growth of the blogosphere?
Doug Berman: These online supplements are a very direct acknowledgment of one thing that the blogs have contributed to the law professor universe: sometimes, law professors have things they want to say and can valuably say in 500 words rather than 500,000 words.
December 06, 2007
Berkman + CALI to sponsor blogger events at AALS 2008
CALI and Berkman invite law prof bloggers to two special events at AALS 2008: a private luncheon on blogging and its role in legal education, and an open meetup space in the Exhibition Hall. We're almost out of seats for the lunch, but there's still time to reserve a meetup time slot. Some bloggers have fretted that the meetups will feel like a "bloggers on display" booth, but have no fear: we're setting up the space like a living room, not a "meet the author" receiving line.
I wonder if LSI can team up with PrawfsBlawg and the other school-oriented blogs to host a joint meetup?
October 06, 2007
Top blawgs for would-be law school innovators
The folks at Blawg Review have created this meme throughout the blawgosphere urging the creation of a "list of blawgs that are 'simply the best.'" Rather than jump into the "best" game, I thought it made more sense here to list what I consider the be the most important blawg reads for would be law-school innovators. Here goes (in alphabetical order):
- Brian Leiter's Law School Reports
- Concurring Opinions
- Empirical Legal Studies
- How Appealing
- Legal Profession Blog
- Mauled Again
- TaxProf Blog
- The Volokh Conspiracy
I am sure I am leaving out some useful reads, so perhaps readers in the comments will flag other blogs that talk about legal education and its possible reforms.
On a tangential front, I think someone (perhaps the folks at Law Blog Metrics) ought to be tracking and analyzing which types of blawgs are making the most best 10 lists.
Posted by DAB
May 18, 2007
Live blogging my panel on blogging at Chicago-Kent
I fear it is not polite for me to live blog the panel on which I am speaking at this great conference at the Chicago-Kent College of Law entitled "Back to the Future of Legal Research." (The full details of this very interesting conference can be found at this link.) But even though I won't live blog, this post provides a forum for attendees (and others) to share comments and reactions. Please do.
March 19, 2007
Denver Law Faculty and Students to Blog the Nacchio Trial
Denver Law Prof Jay Brown is taking collaborative faculty-student blogging to new heights by providing daily coverage of the criminal trial of Joe Nacchio, the former CEO of Qwest Communications International at Race to the Bottom. Professor Brown writes that the Nacchio trial is "really the end of an era, the last big trial from the Enron days."
The trial is scheduled to begin today and is expected to last approximately 8 weeks. Students and faculty will rotate through each day of the trial with the expectation that there will be at least two posts a day. -- Joe Hodnicki
February 04, 2007
Blogging's beneficiary and a revolution coming
The most successful blogs tend to be run by younger law professors who aren't necessarily at the top-ten schools. That's because if you're an established professor at a top-ten school, you are already probably getting significant positive reinforcement for what you are doing. But if you're a law professor who's trying to establish a name for yourself, you quite understandably feel that not enough people are paying attention to what you're saying. The blogosphere is a wonderful way for you to put your ideas out there and gain an audience for ideas you think are valuable and worthwhile. Blogging democratizes legal commentary; it publicizes the scholarship and the expertise of a large number of law professors who would not have gotten a voice before.
This comment resonates with me because because it is so very clear that my sentencing blog has proved to be a wonderful way for me to put out my ideas and gain an audience.
But Jack's comment also portends a coming revolution. The label of "younger law professors who aren't necessarily at the top-ten schools" describes perhaps 70% of current law professors and essentially 100% of wanna-be law professors. If blogging continues to be an especially valuable medium for an especially large percentage of law professors, I predict it is only a matter of time before every law professor is expected to have (or contribute to) a legal blog of one sort or another.
January 10, 2007
The launch of my death penalty class blog
As first noted here, this semester I am experimenting with a class blog for my course on the Death Penalty. Today was my first class, and thus also became the day for launching the new blog, cleverly titled Death Penalty Course @ Moritz College of Law. Though I am doing all the blogging right now, in a few weeks I am going to expect students not just to read the blog, but also to do some posting.
As detailed by this post on the new blog, I already like having the class blog as a means to immediately follow-up on issues discussed in class. Of course, it remains to be seen if students will like or appreciate that I now have a means to immediately follow-up on issues discussed in class.
Posted by DAB.