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February 4, 2007

Blogging's beneficiary and a revolution coming

Ilya Somin in this post flags Jack Balkin's notable discussion here at his blog of which law professors may benefit the most from professional blogging.  Here's what Jack says:

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.

February 4, 2007 in Blogging by lawyers and law professors | Permalink


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Tracked on Feb 4, 2007 5:45:04 PM


I'm curious if greater participation in blogging will help bridge the much-discussed gap between the academy and practice. While blogs (like this one) can focus exclusively on issues that pertain only within the academy, I suspect most legal scholars want some impact on real-world debates, policies, and laws. Are practitioners reading and responding to these blogs, and if so, will that offer a more direct channel of feedback from the world of practice?

Posted by: Gene Koo | Feb 6, 2007 12:36:57 PM

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