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January 1, 2007

Are law professor blogs like so five minutes ago?

Peter Spiro in this post at OpinioJuris thoughtfully examines whether "the blogging phenomenon may have peaked" in the legal arena, and a terrific set of commentors have enriched the inquiry.  This comment by Dave Hoffman especially caught my attention:

[I]t seems unlikely that law professors (the audience and participants I care about) will continue to blog at high numbers for much longer if (a) institutions don't commit to reward the activity; or (b) it doesn't pay.  Since I think both of these possibilities are long-shots (and the first possibly normatively undesirable) I too see a downward trend in total bloggers.  That doesn't mean that the ones left will die on the vine, just that the gold rush time is at a conclusion.

The "does blogging pay" issue is intriguing because a good number of prominent law professor blogs (e.g., Althouse, Banbridge, the entire Law Prof Blog Network) have ads of some sort.  But I am even more intrigued and troubled by Dave's assertion that it is a "long-shot" and "possibly normatively undesirable" for law schools to commit to reward the activity of law professor blogging.

Of course, I am not suggesting that law schools should reward what I would call "pure pleasure blogging" by law professors (a type of blogging I do on some occasions with colleagues at The Golf Blog).  But, I do think that law schools should reward (and thus incentivize) what I call "scholarship-in-action blogging" for reasons I have explained in this article.  As I explain in my article, there can be so many positive and productive aspects of law professor blogging which can and should dovetail with a law professor's professional goals and the broader missions of law schools.

Perhaps the blog-friendly new Dean of the Brandeis School of Law at the University of Louisville is already thinking about how he should reward blogging faculty.

January 1, 2007 in Blogging by lawyers and law professors | Permalink


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» Abandoned Blogs from Opinio Juris
I tend to agree with Roger's sober assessment of the value of blogging if we can till a small patch of otherwise unplowed soil, that's something accomplished, but we shouldn't assu... [Read More]

Tracked on Jan 2, 2007 12:06:05 AM

» Decline in enthusiasm for law blogging? Hogwash from LexBlog Blog
Peter Spiro's post on 'Abandoned Blogs' has generated discussion that law blogs may have reached their peak. See Dan Solove at Concurring Opnions - Orin Kerr at The Volokh Conspiracy - Doug Bermann at Law School Innovation - Paul Caron's... [Read More]

Tracked on Jan 5, 2007 2:50:11 PM



Your blog work, and the work of others like you, because it is current and engages the profession on very important topics, should be honored and promoted by the Academy. If the Academy truly cares about public service, scholarship like yours must be highly prized and rewarded. Indeed, you have no idea of the far reaching impact that your sentencing blog has, and continues to have, on sentencing. You should be very proud of your work, and many more academics should emulate you.

The foregoing said, I cannot resist saying, if only to tone down on my somewhat excessive flattery, that you continue to be wrong on a whole bunch of fronts. But, making mistakes has never stopped me, and I hope it won't stop you. Happy New Year.

Richard Kopf
United States District Judge

Posted by: Richard Kopf | Jan 1, 2007 11:12:33 AM

Thanks, Judge, I'm blushing. Let me respond in kind:

1. You kinds words here and your engagement through opinions in my blog ideas has been a source of inspiration and excitement whenever my blogging battery starts running low.

2. Since being wrong has never slowed down federal judges, I doubt it will slow me or other bloggers down.

Thanks again and happy new year, Judge. I hope you find time to comment on other posts you see here at LSI, as well as over at SL&P. I need your help to confirm exactly when I am wrong.

Posted by: Doug B. | Jan 1, 2007 12:35:51 PM

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