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 21, 2011
What are the best (and worst) law review websites?
At a production meeting for the Ohio State specialty journal for which I serve as a faculty editor, the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law, I told the senior student editors that I believed OSJCL has one of the very best, if not the best, journal website I know. Here are some of the reasons I make this claim:
1. All of the OSJCL's content is fully available on-line and for free, and new content from new issues are put up on this website even before the hard-copy journal gets into circulation.
3. The OSJCL website has some additional content beyond the journal's print materials via a special section called OSJCL Amici: Views from the Field.
4. The OSJCL website includes this page with simple instructions for those interested in submitting drafts for publication consideration and this page with simple instructions (and an on-line form) concerning about subscriptions.
Because a few additional pages of the website are not always subject to timely updating, I think there is still room for improvement at the OSJCL journal website. Still, because primary hard-copy content is king and because that part of the website is always easy to navigate and completely free to access, I am still prepared to put the OSJCL site in a top tier of law journal websites.
Can readers report other journal websites they really like and/or mention specific features of a journal's website that is especially valuable? Alternatively, if folks want to call out terrible journal websites or problematic feature of some sites, that would be cool, too.
Posted by DAB
October 21, 2008
The University of Louisville's law faculty SSRN aggregator page
The University of Louisville is justifiably proud of its law faculty and of the high-impact academic work generated by this community of scholars. In earlier posts (like this and this and this), The Cardinal Lawyer has made much of SSRN.Despite its small size, and despite having taken active part in SSRN for less than two years, the University of Louisville ranks 41st among American law schools in recent SSRN downloads and 57th in all-time downloads as of October 12, 2008.
Many law professors and some law schools make an effort to promote papers available for download from SSRN. The University of Louisville has taken aggressive measures to promote its entire faculty's SSRN portfolio. Louisville publishes an SSRN aggregator page that collects every faculty member's contributions to the SSRN database as they are made. A summary of each article, complete with a link to that article's own SSRN page, appears on the aggregator page. And best of all, in harmony with Law 2.0 and the thoroughly interconnected environment in which contemporary legal education operates, the University of Louisville's faculty SSRN aggregator page has its own RSS feed .
ouisville's own SSRN aggregator page complements but does not replace the University of Louisville School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper Series on SSRN. This series has its own subscription mechanism. Like other subscribers, I receive periodic updates by e-mail and can click through to my colleagues' most recent work.
One byproduct of Louisville's faculty-wide SSRN aggregator is an individual SSRN aggregator page for each member of the faculty. Consider, for example, the SSRN treasure troves associated with my colleague, Judith D. Fischer. Judy's University of Louisville-generated SSRN aggregator page and regular SSRN page testify to a prolific and creative mind. For my own part, I am considering the possibility of linking to my own UofL-generated SSRN aggregator page wherever I have already seen fit to promote my regular SSRN page. Through its facility with scripts and feeds, Louisville's information technology staff has given the entire faculty many weapons for heightening awareness, within the academy and among members of the public at large, of the powerful legal scholarship being generated at the University of Louisville.
— Jim Chen
January 29, 2008
Law Prof as Toolmaker
January 24, 2008
Academic Peer Review: Anonymous Blog Commenting v. Traditional Peer Review
Read more about this experiment in Jeffrey Young's Chronicle article, Blog Comments and Peer Review Go Head to Head to See Which Makes a Book Better. Hat tip to INFO/LAW's Can Crowdsourcing Beat Academic Peer Review? -- Joe Hodnicki
August 23, 2007
Innovative on-line research project: ACS Research Link
I am pleased to see from the ACS Blog this intriguing announcement:
ACS is pleased to announce the launch of ACS ResearchLink: Connecting Law Students and Lawyers Committed to Justice.
ACS ResearchLink creates a valuable online resource for the legal community by collecting legal research topics submitted by practitioners for law students to explore in faculty-supervised writing projects for academic credit. Practitioners will receive a copy of the resulting student papers, which ACS will post in a searchable online library. Follow these links to search or browse currently available research topics.
This looks like a great idea, and I hope any readers who participate will report on their experiences in the comments. Helpfully, other lawprof blogs like Volokh are also giving this project some attention.
April 15, 2007
Great examination of blogging and SSRN downloads
Paul Ohm has a new article that, especially in light of recent debates over SSRN download counts, is a must-read for any tech-interested law professors. The article is entitled "Do Blogs Influence SSRN Downloads? Empirically Testing the Volokh and Slashdot Effects," and is, naturally, available via SSRN here. Paul discusses this work, naturally, on the blog The Volokh Conspiracy here. Here is the abstract from SSRN:
SSRN's download statistics are criticized for being biased in favor of bloggers. Just how does the supposed bias work, and how strong is it?
This paper reports the results of a small empirical study undertaken in April, 2007. While guest-blogging at the Volokh Conspiracy, the author used a small computer program to collect SSRN Abstract View and Download statistics every fifteen minutes.
The study took on an unexpected dimension when links to some of the author's blog posts appeared in an article on slashdot.org, one of the most widely-read technology websites. This allowed the author to compare the Volokh Effect with the better known and more often studied Slashdot Effect.
This is a quickly-compiled draft summarizing and analyzing the results. There are many colorful graphs included. You should really click the Download link below. Seriously! Click it. You know you want to. The odds are very good that the author is collecting data about this abstract page, as well.
Some recent related posts:
March 01, 2007
Faculty and Students Collaborate on Corporate Governance Blog
Race to the Bottom is probably the first effort by law faculty and students to collaborate on a topic in the blogosphere. The topic is corporate governance and the impact SOX has on governance practices. The blog, launched on Feb. 9, 2007, is run by Denver law prof J. Robert Brown and seven of his students. The blog has a companion website, Corporate Governance, which contains primary materials on important matters relating to corporate governance. The blog also contains an excellent selection of pertinent resources.
Race to the Bottom demonstrates how technology can be used by law faculty and students who want to pursue intellectual interests unhindered by law school administrative barriers. This use of web communications for student-faculty collaboration that produces "short form" scholarly analysis and commentary exemplifies the spirit of innovation seen in some of our law schools. One can only hope that more law professors and students follow the example set by Race to the Bottom.
Cross-posted on Law Blog Metrics. -- Joe Hodnicki
February 08, 2007
Creating an AALS Section on Educational and Instructional Technology
I've posted an article on www.teknoids.net (a website for law school tech folks and their friends) calling for the creation of an AALS Section on Educational and Instructional Technology. I thought I'd mention it here since many of our readers nay have an interest in the formation of this section. From the post:
The idea is to have a Section that does an annual program that provides the AALS Annual Meeting attendees with information about, and demonstrations of, the latest in educational and instructional technologies. The Section would provide a forum for interested faculty to interact with IT professionals in a situation that outside of the normal structures of the IT/faculty relationship.
I would invite anyone interested in creating this section to join the community at teknoids and help us plan.
January 29, 2007
Specialty Journals at HLS, Past, Present and Future
The rise of legal specialization and interdisciplinary legal studies spawned hundreds of specialized journals. This new type of publication was spurred by increasing competition within law school student bodies and among law school faculties. With the popularity of using web communications to publish and distribute legal scholarship, one could argue that we are in the midst of a similar change for the same reasons. It would be very interesting to see detailed law school specific studies of the use of web technology similar to the following study of HLS specialty journals that used print technology.
In The Rise and Rise of the Specialty Journals at Harvard Law School, Jennifer L. Carter sets out for the first time a history of specialty journals at Harvard Law School and places the journals in the context of HLS events. Written to fulfill the J.D. written work requirement at HLS, Carter's article also assesses the present state of affairs, using HLS as a case study, and considers the future of law journals.
Cross posted on Law Librarian Blog today. [JH]
January 09, 2007
Emailing Submissions to Law ReviewsMy colleague Donna tells me that there is a great resource for lists of email addresses of law reviews that accept submissions via email, as well as web addresses for law reviews that offer web forms for submission. The service, available here, is offered by the Chase Law School in Kentucky, and the list is compiled by Dean Bales. I know that Express-O offers similar functionality (and is likely more comprehensive and full service), but this has the virtue that it is free. I'm going to recommend it to my students, especially. This is a terrific resource for my foreign students, who are spared the expense of mailing from afar. UPDATE: (Bumped up from comments) Commentator Anthony suggests that Washington & Lee's site may have greater functionality. It is located here: http://lawlib.wlu.edu/LJ/ One important issue is whether these sites are kept up to date, as law reviews are constantly tinkering with submission methods (and even, I suppose, potentially changing email addresses in the process). If readers find that one site or the other is better, please keep me informed via the comments here. Anupam Chander
CALI Classcaster: A Course Centric Blogging and Podcasting System
Note: This article contains a lengthy description of the Classcaster system. I am preparing a separate article on what I've learned about the pros and cons of course blogging while administering Classcaster.
Classcaster® is a course blogging system that provides faculty, librarians, and staff of CALI member schools with a new way to interact with students and communities. A Classcaster blog provides authors with tools for posting not only traditional blog articles but also tools for podcasting and sharing any documents and/or files with students and communities. During the Fall 2006 semester over 70 faculty and librarians from CALI member schools posted over 1000 hours of course lectures and summaries for their students. In addition many authors posted syllabi, assignments, slides, and engaged students in discussion on their Classcaster blogs.
By visiting the Classcaster homepage faculty, staff, and librarians can quickly create a Classcaster blog with features that include a unique URL (web address), custom templates, moderated comments, password protection for blogs and posts, file sharing, podcasting, and the ability to list your blog in the iTunes Music Store. This collection of features allow authors to easily connect with students to share information. A single author can create multiple blogs, so you may have a blog for each of your courses. Using Classcaster's advanced features you can record your lectures or audio supplements to lectures using a telephone and have that recording posted to your blog.
Support for getting started with and using Classcaster is available from the Classcaster FAQ and the support forum. Additional information about Classcaster is included in the Legal Education Podcasting Project FAQ and the original Classcaster whitepaper.
In the two years we have been developing and using Classcaster a number of questions have come up about the system beyond just how to use it. I have included them below to help people in deciding about whether or not to use Classcaster.
- Is Classcaster really free? Will it stay that way?
- Yes, Classcaster is available as a free service to the faculty, librarians, and staff of over 200 CALI member schools. Classcaster has quickly become a core service of CALI and as such will remain free of charge to members for the foreseeable future.
- Will Classcaster continue to be supported by CALI?
- Yes. As I mentioned above Classcaster is key part of our plans for the future and is a central service provided by CALI to our members. As such we will continue to support Classcaster into the future.
- Is there a limit on disk space a person or school can use on Classcaster?
- No, at this time we are not limiting disk an author or school can use on Classcaster. We monitor disk space closely and the system is expandable enough that we can easily add disk space as it is needed. Podcasts, posts, and other documents stored on Classcaster will be available there into the future.
- Does the telephone recording to podcasting feature really work consistently?
- Yes. Most of John’s interviews with the faculty podcasters of the Legal Education Podcasting Project were recorded using the telephone recording and auto-podcasting features of Classcaster. For the most part the system performed well. Of course there is only one phone line at the moment, so you may get a busy signal, but you can just try again later. We are looking into expanding the number of available phone lines on the system.
- I would really like all of the faculty at my school to use Classcaster. Will the system support all X faculty (where X is some number)?
- Sure. The Classcaster blogging system should easily support several hundred bloggers and podcasters. As the system grows we will expand its storage and processing capabilities to make sure that it will provide your communities with access. The telephone to podcast part of the system has only one phone line at the moment, so you may get a busy signal, but you can just try again later. We are looking into expanding the number of available phone lines on the system.
- Can I customize Classcaster’s look and feel, invite colleagues to contribute to the blog, and have more than one blog?
- Yes, yes, and yes. All of these features are available. Please review the Classcaster FAQ for details.
- Can I create a blog for our Library? Admissions Office? Career Services?
- Yes. Folks from member schools are free to create blogs so long as the blogs are related to the function of the law school. Blogs of a personal nature are beyond the scope of Classcaster.
- I’m not really interested in podcasting, but would like to have blog, may I use Classcaster?
- Yes. We know not everyone is interested in podcasting, but may like to try blogging. By all means, try Classcaster.
December 19, 2006
The synergies between blogs and law journals
At First Movers here, Anthony Ciolli provides this link to his Yale Law Journal Pocket Part essay entitled, "Much Ado About Nothing: Why Student Scholarship Has Nothing to Fear from Blogs." The piece is a response to Professor Steve Vladeck's earlier Pocket Part essay on student scholarship. Here is its engaging start:
Shortly after the popularization of the World Wide Web in 1996, Professor Bernard Hibbitts proclaimed that "[t]he next decade could witness the end of the law review as we know it," for cyberspace would allow law professors to "finally escape the straitjacket of the law reviews by publishing their own scholarship directly on the World Wide Web." Earlier this fall, Professor Stephen Vladeck made an equally bold — and equally erroneous — prediction in stating that "[t]he days of the case note . . . may well be numbered." Ten years later, we now know that Professor Hibbitts's prediction did not come true. In this Response, I will explain why Professor Vladeck's prediction will also not come to pass.
November 13, 2006
When Should a Law Conference be YouTubed?Gene Koo asks in comments to my earlier posting whether law conference hosts are generally game to YouTubing a conference. The answer, of course, is that it depends. I don't think conference hosts would want an audience member to film without permission and then post publicly. A law conference is not a campaign event by Senator George Allen. Why not? Some conferences are not public. More importantly, speakers often assume that they are speaking to a limited audience--those there that day. The contemporaneous audience feedback will help the speaker understand how her remarks are being interpreted and received by the audience. But doesn't YouTubing even those conferences help discipline those who would say different things to different audiences? Doesn't it make people more honest? In fact, I think it might make people less honest. Speakers might be less willing to make controversial statements knowing that those who disagree or who are the objects of their critique might be listening in. In academia, especially, one needs the freedom to moot arguments before an audience freely, without the constraints on what is popularly acceptable. I, of course, favor YouTubing as much as possible. But I would hope that, for law conferences, it would be done only with the permission of the speakers. Not all law professors are ready to share with the world at large in the manner of LonelyGirl15. Anupam Chander
November 12, 2006
The Law Conference Will Be YouTubed
Law conferences often offer a useful means to come quickly up to speed on the hottest issues. Presenters typically provide enough background to make them accessible to a general legal audience. Yet only a few people can ever hope to attend any particular conference--typically because the conference is physically remote from most of its potential audience.
YouTube offers an important means for making law conferences available to a broader audience. Of course, a law school might use its own resources to host such video on its own website, but many law schools have not committed such significant resources for this purpose. Even more importantly, law school videos--even those from the most well-endowed law schools--often have technical issues in playback. YouTube, by contrast, simply works--and on a great array of platforms. Furthermore, YouTube provides both the storage space and bandwith which might prove expensive for a law school to offer on its own.
But here's a technical question for IP lawyers who deal in documentaries: To what extent does one need permission from conference speakers (and potential audience members, who speak also?) to broadcast their statements to the world via the Web? I would think that it is good etiquette to make people aware that their words might be publicized in this way, but is there a legal obligation to seek permission?