22 February 2005

Law School Blogs

Orin argues that blogs have supplanted case notes. The only possible flaw I can find in his argument is that I'm not sure a whole lot of attorneys know what blogs are. I find myself helping other attorneys to use WestLaw at the law library and have gotten blank looks when I've said the word "blog." Still, I imagine that as more and more students come out of law school trained in computers this will fade.

Of course there is also the reality that every student wants to write a case note to have something to put on his resume. Because, as we all know, that 8 page note on a case nobody has heard of (or will, ever again) is going to set you apart from the thousands of other students writing notes on cases nobody really cares about.

One interesting possibility is that a law school could start its own blog with student staffing. For example, the W&L Race and Ethnic Ancestry Law Journal (where yours truly wrote his case note) could become The REAL Blog. This would allow quick updates on cases of note. It could also cover relevant items in the news. It would allow students a place where they could have their work "published." They could also have reactions from others who have an interest in the blog's subject matter, either through email, comments, or a post on another blog. Of course, there would be some sort of "editor" to assign different people different areas of responsibility (or at least to make sure no flame wars occur). One major advantage it would have over journals is that when listed on a resume the potential employer can actually go look at the blog and see the insightful analysis contained therein.

Anyway, there's the idea. I gift it to you all. After several years of committee studies and worries that it will lower perceived academic standards for the institution maybe some law school will actually adopt it.

3 comments:

Baronger said...

The use of blogs by law schools sounds promising. When I posted on this I was concerned about credentials and the permanence of the blog. A law school blog would help solve this.

Blogs will probably be a generational thing that the profession will grow into. But then again my uncle who is a lawyer in his 60's has gone for them big time. So maybe it's just a matter of time.

Anonymous said...

A natural and nevertheless brilliant suggestion- can you tell I had the same idea?

Orin suggested that a) Blogs are faster acting, more palatably pleasing sources of case commentary than journal-published case notes, b) the use of blog casenotes will remove the demand for same, and c) journals will react by... doing nothing. Despite the pressure on students to write and publish, they will not adapt.

I immediately asked myself, "Who would be writing these blogs?" and concluded that Orin is not talking about the end of anything, but merely a shift in format. Trivial technological updates, essentially.

Orin Kerr said...

Anonymous wrote:

"I immediately asked myself, 'Who would be writing these blogs?' and concluded that Orin is not talking about the end of anything, but merely a shift in format. Trivial technological updates, essentially."

No, I don't think so. I think it will mostly be practitioners and law professors who will be writing these blogs. But time will tell, i suppose.