We’re all familiar with Michigan State University’s athletic prowess. As a Notre Dame graduate, I’ve seen on TV any number of football losses at East Lansing. Basketball Coach Tom Izzo has kept the Spartans near the top nationally for what seems like twenty years.

Michigan State’s Law School though, which I am sure has received national recognition in the past, has not been discussed historically with the likes of Harvard, Yale, Stanford and Michigan.

No longer. The Spartans are getting known, and known in a big way for their law graduates who have harnessed the power of the Internet to learn, to network and to build a name for themselves.

Law firms and other organizations are seeking out Michigan State grads because of what they have learned on the innovation and technology front – and in a good number of cases seeking out particular law students and offering them jobs.

You got it. Students and law grads being offered jobs by companies and firms seeking them out. Not students and grads applying for jobs as is the customary way students are taught it’s done.

What happened?

The law school recognized what the rest of the country knew. The Internet was a powerful tool for learning and networking – and that everyone and their brother was using it. Why not a law school’s students?

First there was ReInvent Law (video channel in absence of site) launched by then Michigan State Law professors, Dan Katz and Renee Knake. When you put on conferences featuring legal innovators in Chicago, Palo Alto, New York City and London, folks take notice. Especially when you’re selling out large venues packed with practicing lawyers, legal tech executives, law students and law professors.

Then Dan Linna left nine years of large law practice to become Assistant Dean for Career Development and a professor at MSU Law, along with serving as an adjunct professor at the University of Michigan Law School.

Without putting words in Linna’s mouth, he saw what was bubbling up at MSU Law. An opportunity to expand the curriculum to include the business of law in ways not taught before – the use of technology, innovation, project management and lean business processes to change the way legal services are delivered by major law firms.

You add guys such as Ken Grady as an adjunct professor and now a full time professor, and you have a real force. Grady, who’s known internationally, in large part through blogging and social media, for transformation in legal and has worked as general counsel, large law partner and CEO of SeyfarthLean.

About this time MSU Law students started using the Internet. Blogging, Twitter, LinkedIn, About.me and Facebook, all on professional matters. These kids were bringing it.

So much so that MSU Law students starting citing my blog and sharing items I posted to Twitter. As a result, I heard them and got to know them – from 2,000 miles away. I started spreading the word, online and offline. Other influencers did the same.

These students invited me back to East Lansing to share my thoughts on blogging and social media – as well as to judge a social media contest the law school was conducting for students.

I went. What an incredible afternoon, I was welcomed and introduced by then Dean, Joan Howarth.

I discovered that social media and blogging was not only taught at the law school, but that students needed to use what they learned over a semester or more. The contest was an opportunity to share the results – not just a beauty contest with followers, but in internships gained and invitations to speak in San Francisco.

I asked Dean Howarth, “Why? How?” She said what else was she to do, stand by and watch what was happening to law grads and law students. Howarth, who had yet develop her Facebook prowess (came with her attending a day long MSU Law social media bootcamp), empowered change and the use of social media – as a gift to the law school and its students – whether she knew it or not.

I was at a legal technology meetup earlier this year when a lawyer heard me talking about Michigan State’s tech, innovation and social media bent. He said that his firm, a large one, looks for Michigan State grads because of exactly that.

More powerful than MSU Law’s reputation, or maybe the cause of its reputation, is its students’ use of social media itself.

Pat Ellis, who graduated two or three years ago, landed a job on graduation at the second largest law firm in Detroit, in part because of his blogging and social media use.

Ellis left within two years to accept another opportunity. Someone suggested to him on Twitter that he apply for a position with the general counsel’s office at General Motors. He got the job.

I met Ellis on Twitter, as then, @spartylegal, and via his blogging. I had the pleasure of joining him in a presentation to MSU Law students, with Dean Howarth and faculty attending.

Ellis advised students that what they thought was important no longer was. A tier one law school, top grades and law review were no longer what separated you from others. The Internet enabled students to blog, with posts seen in a day by a law professor across the country, versus never for a law review article. Social media democratized things for the little guy. Opportunities awaited, per Ellis.

Ellis is not alone.

Irene Mo, a recent MSU Law graduate took innovation classes, participated in blogging and social media bootcamps at the school and served as an innovation assistant for the school’s LegalRnD program.

She’s now an ABA Innovation Fellow developing tools to reduce privacy and data security risks for low-income people. An associate position at a leading Chicago privacy and security law firm awaits – this based on MO’s Twitter exchanges with the managing partner.

Samir Patel came to MSU Law planning to be a sports agent – and why not, with the Spartan’s athletic prowess. But he attended a MSU Law social media bootcamp.

One thing led to another and Patel was clerking for a leading blockchain law firm in London because of identifying a niche he could get after with Twitter and blogging – the use of blockchain in professional athletes’ contracts. Patel didn’t ask for the clerkship, the firm asked him on Twitter.

Then, it turned out that someone Patel was interacting with on Twitter was a practice group lead at Holland & Knight. Patel, who just graduated, is joining Holland & Knight in Miami as a result.

Linna has brought real structure to it all launching, two years ago, LegalRnD, MSU Law’s Center for Legal Services Innovation.

LegalRnD is dedicated to improving legal-service delivery and access across the legal industry. It accomplishes this through research and development of efficient, high-quality legal-service delivery tools and systems — heavily relying on the net and social media/blogging for learning and networking.

LegalRnD brings together professionals from a broad range of disciplines. Students are trained in established business concepts and study them with partners, including: legal aid organizations, solo practitioners, corporate legal departments, law firms, courts, and entire justice systems.

Its curriculam, harnessing the powers of networking through the net via blogging and social media, covers:

  • Artificial intelligence & law
  • Delivering legal services, the new landscape
  • Quantitative analysis for lawyers
  • Information privacy and security
  • Litigation data and process
  • Entrepreneurial lawyering

Young people choose law schools for a whole lot of reasons. Usually based on the school’s name and rank.

If I am looking to understand what’s possible, achieve extraordinary things and have employers ask me if I want to work for them in areas of interest to me — all because I’ve learned to used the Internet to learn, network and build a name I’m looking for a law school which can deliver on that front.

MSU Law ranks number one in that poll.

In the last week I’ve had exchanges with a couple law schools that made me wonder how serious law schools take professional development of their students.

I’m basing this on my belief that a law student’s understanding of how to blog and use social media to build a name and network is serious stuff. As they used to say, “as serious as a heart attack.”

In one case, a law school was appproached a year ago by one of the their law students suggesting the school hold a social media bootcamp for law students. The student who had good success using the net for learning, networking and building a name wanted to learn more — and wanted to help his fellow students.

The student, who would organize it, was told that things were awfully busy at the school and maybe it could be discussed in the spring. Nothing happened.

I approached the school earlier this year, was told the idea sounded good. When I heard nothing, I emailed back and like the student last year, was told things were awfully busy this fall, let’s look at the spring.

I can take the hint that we don’t value helping our students, professionally. Or, just as bad, we don’t take seriously learning how we can better help our students, professionally — we’re going to do what we have always done.

The second exchange, and actually much more positive, came when it was explained to me that the law school is pushing social media but is meeting resistence with students who question its value.

The problem may come when you begin by pairing up students and asking each student to look at the problems that may be presented by their follow students Internet identity. The focus rather than what’s great and what can be done is “let’s look at where you can get in trouble.” I can imagine skiing lessons starting with how you are likely to tear your ACL.

Rather than look at trouble, why not begin with the positives and tell students that there probably isn’t a lawyer a year, out of the million of them, who gets into trouble, professionally through the use of social media and blogging. And that there are lawyers coast to coast who are building careers and practices from social media.

Tell law students where they can go by using social media now. Tell them of Pat Ellis, three years out of law school, who is now reporting to the General Motors GC — because of blogging and using Twitter while in law school.

Every student has a networking machine in their pocket. Introvert or extrovert, I bet 99% of your incoming 1L’s use Snapchat, Instagram or Facebook for networking with friends and relatives. They just need a little guidance as to using this machine for learning, networking and building a name.

If you, as a law school, don’t know how it’s done, you just have to care enough to find out how — and to find out today. Otherwise what are you going to tell your students struggling to get a job, we’ll start trying to help you next Spring or the Spring after.

People today communicate via social media. It’s where they get their news, information and damn near everything else. It’s where people build relationships – over two billion people use Facebook.

At least as much time, if not more, should be put into teaching students how to use the net to build a name and to network than into getting firms into the law school for interviews, clerking opportunities and postings for postitions students are supposed to send off a resume. Knowing how to use the Internet is much more likely to help students — and unquestionably, more students.

The second exchange was much more positive as I am headed out to that law school next week. ;) Like with other law schools, I’m getting calls from out the blue to visit and talk with the students. I’m no savior, the schools need to have programs teaching the stuff and I’ll only vist a dozen schools a year.

I’m just afraid there are many law schools who are not taking professional development seriously.

Should a law student blog now? Yes, yes & yes, writes veteran law blogger and successful niche practice solo lawyer, Carolyn Elefant.

In the big picture, something law students may not appreciate today, prosperity and a sense of direction may be the best reasons to blog.

A blog is your precedent; a picture of you as a law student, at a place in time where your profession lies in front of you and where you’re still excited and eager — maybe naive or at least, not yet jaded. Blogs capture the insight and curiosity and passion and yes, stupidity of the soon-to-be-lawyer and serve as a True North that you can look back on and use to re-orient yourself if you ever lose your way as a lawyer.

Elefant also offers five practical reasons to blog, whether you’re looking to hang out your shingle or find employment in a law firm.

  1. Blogging on a regular basis (at least twice a week for the first six months) about almost any law related topic shows commitment to the profession, interest and most of all initiative. Those traits will catapult you to the front of the line when it comes time for interviews or referrals from colleagues.
  2. A blog will open doors by offering an online introduction to lawyers in distant communities where you hope to wind up or to role models whom you’d like to emulate or meet.
  3. Blogging will make you money while in school and on graduation. Law schools don’t necessarily prepare you to get hired as a clerk or on graduation. Instead of waiting passively for your law school to help you find a job, put yourself out there with your blog and you may find lawyers approaching you, asking you to take on short research projects or help them research blog posts.
  4. Blogging improves your analytical and writing skills. Since readers have short attention spans and many RSS readers only pick up the first sentence of what you write, blogs require you to get right to the point with a seductive headline, strong lead and cogent analysis.
  5. A blog can serve as the centerpiece of a broader presence on the web by disciplining you to produce content that you can repurpose in multiple sites. You can include your blog along with other briefs and papers you’ve written in an online portfolio, a concept recently recommended in the New York Times for job seekers.

New York Attorney and Legal Tech Evangelist at MyCase, Nicole Black wholeheartedly agrees with Elefant.

Law students should consider blogging, and more broadly, should also use social media to establish a professional presence during their law school years. Interacting strategically online is a great way to jumpstart your legal career and make connections that can last a lifetime.

Black, who’s been blogging for twelve years, is right there with Elefant on the benefits of blogging as a law student.

  1. Demonstrate your substantive knowledge.
  2. Showcase your writing and analytical skills.
  3. Convince prospective employers that you are on top of changes in your chosen practice areas or career path of choice.

Ignore the naysayers and scare tactics, says Black.

Don’t let the fact that the internet is forever deter you from taking advantage of the opportunities that social media and blogging offer.

These guys offer some advice on where to start blogging as a law student.

From Black:

  1. Determine what your post-law school objectives are. Identify a niche, practice area, or career goal that interests you and make it yours. Learn everything you can about it.
  2. Subscribe to blogs about your chosen focus and identify the influencers in that space, whether it’s a specific area of law practice or another career path in a different field.
  3. Connect with those people online and learn from them. Read their articles, blog posts, and social media posts and interact with them online.

And from Elefant:

  1. To get the most mileage out of your blog in the legal community, you need to blog about legal or law related issues. Sounds obvious, but I have students blog about their life as a law student or other random matterss
  2. I’d avoid blogging about topics obviously aimed at prospective clients – stuff like “Why You Should Incorporate Your Business,” or “Ten Ways to Avoid Liability When You Fire An Employee.” A law student blogger would have to include so many disclaimers as part of these posts that they wouldn’t have much value.

I know Niki and Carolyn as friends and as professionals. They are as passionate as I am, if not more, about helping law students use the Internet for learning, networking and getting a job. Follow their advice over the advice of law school administrators and professors who do not blog and use social media.

Remember, as a law student, Lexblog’s platform is free to you as part of the Law School Blog Network. Take advantage of it.

Our Law School Blog Network is coming alive with a good number of blogs by law professors and law students.

Here’s ten points to mind for a more successful blog for law students yet to go live or not even started with their blog.

  1. Focus on a niche. Blogs are very much “if you build it, they will come,” so long as you focus on a niche. For example, tax law is way too broad. Tax law for income property owners in your state rocks. You’ll get noticed, you’ll have people cite you as a resource and you’ll be pumped about blogging. Broad topic blogs get little love and attention, thus make blogging a chore – so much so you’ll quit and lose an opportunity to build a name and realize your dreams.
  2. Blog on a substantive legal subject, industry or social issue. Don’t blog about yourself and your situation. You don’t want to blog about your life (lifestyle blogger), unless you are big time championing an issue such as discrimination against women or people of color in the law.
  3. No long articles attempting to cover a lot of ground. This is blogging. You blog as you would talk in a conversation. 350 to 400 words, or even shorter is great. One point and you’re done.
  4. At least one image in every post. People read blogs on mobile devices and on social networks. Pictures are attractive in these settings and are expected by users.
  5. Cite other people (and their stories/blog posts) with whom you want to connect to in your niche. They’ll see you, you’ll get to know them and grow influence as a result of others “seeing” you hang out with the leaders.
  6. Make sure you use social networks. Blogging is a all about listening and engagement. It’s the same with social networks. Even when you’re not blogging, you’re still a blogger.
  7. Learn how to use the news aggregator, Feedly. Your blogging will remain focused by who and what you follow and you’ll grow your network by engaging those you read from Feedly.
  8. Don’t be clever with titles. A title should briefly and clearly describe your blog post. Titles are how people find content on Google and social media.
  9. Share your posts on social media, but make sure you’ve established a little “social media equity” by sharing others’ posts and articles first. No one likes people who share only their content all the time.
  10. Post a couple times a month to start with and work it up to once a week. A good blog post can take as little as twenty or thirty minutes. It’ll take a little longer to start, but as you get the hang of it and begin to get recognized blogging will be easy and fun.

Blogging is an art and a skill that is acquired over time. People’s styles differ. One thing to know when you start is that you can blog bad, but for only so long.

If you’re a law student and want to blog on a great platform, check out LexBlog’s Law School Blog Network. All free and a great way to build a name for yourself.

One of the most rewarding things I have the honor of doing is visiting law schools.

I get to go into large law school classes or open sessions and tap into the existing passion these young people have. It’s incredible.

When I talk about the Internet providing each and every student the ability to make their dreams come alive, eyes open. You can see the fire.

When I share the story of Pat Ellis going from an average student at Michigan State Law School to Honigman in Detroit to inhouse counsel and business planner for the General Counsel and EVP of Public Policy at General Motors, all in a couple years, on the back of a blog, Twitter, drive and a dream, you can see students thinking, “That’s me.”

Students come down and engage me afterwards. They tell me where they’re from and where they want to go.

Some students have niches they’re passionate about. My being there got them to realize they really could do the type of work they dream of and for the type of clients they want to serve.

Other students almost apologize that they haven’t figured out their niche. I tell them that’s absolutely okay, most lawyers never figure out what fuels their passion. “Just figure out what would be fun to learn and who’d like to meet in the field. Now make it happen with the effective use of blogging and social media.”

What’s sad is that career services in many schools isn’t prepared to help their law students realize their dreams.

People communicate and connect on the Internet today. A working understanding of how to use the Internet for professional development and getting a job is critical for law students.

Yet career services is often led and staffed by people who have never used the Internet to build professional relationships nor to build a name for themselves. Their knowledge of using the net professionally often comes from misguided peers.

Facebook is the most widely used communication and connection medium in the world. Smart business professionals, including most of the legal industry leaders I know, use Facebook to engage and share on personal and professional matters.

Yet I recently heard that one career services professional advised law students not to engage professionally on Facebook, and if they do to keep two separate Facebook accounts. That’s nuts. Made me wonder what other bum advice they may have shared with students.

Blogging, Twitter and networking on LinkedIn are powerful tools. Those law students who use them strategically and effectively for learning, networking and building a name are going to have opportunities to do the things they dream of when they graduate.

But who’s teaching law students how to use social media? Where are the role models and mentors in their law school when it comes to blogging? Who is career services reaching out to for help, being vulnerable by acknowledging they don’t understand it all?

Law students are paying $150,000 or more to their school, many going into debt, and all forgoing income for three years.

The students are told to use career services. “We’re here to help you.”

But are you? Can you fuel the passion of your law students? Or might you drown it out?

There are exceptions, career services teaching and empowering law students to use social media to build a name for themselves. But I fear they are the exception.

Michigan State University College of Law is hosting their second annual Social Media Bootcamp this Saturday (Feb 4). I couldn’t be more honored to be leading the workshop. We had a great time last year.

The workshop is open to law students, lawyers, academics, judges, court staff and all other legal service delivery professionals.

The interactive workshop is designed to help law students, lawyers and legal services providers improve their professional use of blogging and other social media, whether you are beginner or a pro.

You’ll learn how to effectively utilize social media to build a personal brand, establish expertise, and build an online community. You’ll also learn how social media can be used for learning, advancing the law, and networking as a law student, lawyer, law professor or other legal professional.

If you’re a practicing lawyer, you’ll leave knowing how to really use the Internet to get the type of work you want from the type of clients you want to represent.

We’ll cover, among other things:

  • Use of a news aggregator (Feedly) for listening to the influencers and identifying items to share
  • Blogging on a niche to build your name, a network and advance the law
  • Twitter for listening, establishing yourself as an intelligent agent, building social media equity, and building relationships
  • Facebook for building solid professional relationships and sharing personal and professional information and insight
  • LinkedIn for more than just a profile, but to engage, to build a name – and in the case of lawyers how to get work

Law student, professor or law school administrator and looking to blog, ask me about the LexBlog sponsored Law School Blog Network. You’re entitled to a blog on our comprehensive blog publishing software and related services – for free.

Complete details:

  • Date: Saturday, February 4, 2016
  • Time: 9:00 am – 3:00 pm
  • Event Address: 648 N. Shaw Ln, East Lansing, MI 48824
  • Room: Castle Boardroom (3rd Floor)
  • Parking: Free on weekends in the parking ramp next to MSU Law
  • RSVP

Questions? Contact Amy Krieg, Assistant Director for Career Development, kriegamy@law.msu.edu or (517) 432-6830.

Big thanks for Michigan State Law for having me back again. This may be the third or fourth time in the last couple years. You’ve opened my eyes to the passion of law students looking to do great things – often, for other people.

Hope to see how this year’s social media contest is going too. past participants have ended up at with positions at Honigman in Detroit, General Motors, London law firms (internships) and West Coast companies in the agriculture/food business.

I am heading back from a day and evening with the students, faculty and administration at McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.

So many people to thank for such an enjoyable and rewarding time. Dean Jay Mootz is leading a heck of a team. I am learning a lot from him as to how a law school works and how to work with law schools.

I am also becoming a little more relaxed talking with law school deans. Being a kid from a small town and a very average student, I hadn’t hung out much with deans and wondered if I could keep up with them on the knowledge front.

Thanks to Mindy Danovaro who introduced me to Jay, kicking off what we hope will be a relationship that can benefit McGeorge students, professors, snd its grads.

And a big thanks to Professor Dorothy Landsberg, who after practicing law for twenty years returned to become a driving force at McGeorge in too many areas to count. Her questions, counsel and enthusiasm left me awfully inspired.

As a lawyer, if you ever get the chance to teach or work with a law school and its students, especially your law school (mine is McGeorge), jump at the opportunity. You’ll find in the decades since you graduated that you have accumulated wisdom and practical know how that the students with drive will be enthusiastic to absorb.

If you can help the school on something unique that showcases the law school, so much the better. Law schools are having a bit of a tough time and find themselves in a highly competitive environment. An edge helps.

In my case it’s helping students, professors and administrators understand how they can leverage the power of the Internet through blogging and social media — for learning, networking, advancing legal scholarship and building a name.

The opportunities that await law grads have never been greater than today — so long as they know to use the net to realize their aspirations.

Fortunate for McGeorge students, the school is going to give them the opportunity to learn how to use the net. Based on discussions yesterday, the school is going to be part of the Law School Blog Network offering students and professors LexBlog’s comprehensive platform and services for free.

We’re also going to work on ways to teach campus representatives the ins and outs of using blogging and social media strategically. They’ll in turn be able to pass on their knowledge to students and professors.

McGeorge, part of the University of Pacific, is an incredible school with a smart, dedicated and caring faculty and administration.

And as far as the law school itself? 13 acres of classrooms, apartments, a fitness center with pool, clinics, learning centers, and a courtroom, all surrounded by lawns with palm and eucalyptus trees in sunny California is tough to beat. And you can get a California license to boot.

Thanks McGeorge. It’s off to Fordam and Michigan State law schools in the coming weeks. What an honor.

Reading  “WTF is AALS,” in an Above The Law post by the Anonymous Law Professor last Tuesday was enough to catch my attention.

Turns out AALS is the American Association of Law Schools, an organization I hadn’t heard of before. They were having their annual meeting last week in San Francisco, including a Thursday morning session on how law professors were blogging for professional development.

Short notice, but LexBlog’s starting the Law School Blog Network was enough to get me to jump a flight down the next day.

The session on blogging, which took type form of three discussion groups of about fifteen was excellent.

My findings on law school blogging from the session (excuse the length – my notes for working with law schools):

  • Each of the law professors who were blogging felt they were making a strong name for themselves from blogging.
  • At least one law professor would not have gotten her job as a professor without blogging. She was practicing law, had not attended a tier 1 school, but whose goal in life was to be a law porofessor – her blog got her in.
  • Their networks were growing among influenential legal and business professionals worldwide.
  • Blogging professors were getting invited to speak at events worldwide.
  • Law professors view favorably the free and open legal publishing that blogs bring.
  • Concern was expressed about LexisNexis’ acquisition of SSRN, an historically open body of scholarly publications, because LexisNexis is now limiting some open access. Blogging provides an alternative.
  • Media loves law professors blogging as evidenced by blogging professors regularly finding themselves being contacted and quoted by reporters.
  • Law schools look favorably on blogging professors. Deans and administrators like the media coverage, court citations, advancement of legal scholorship and readers, including judges and alumni.
  • Law professor blog posts, like law reviews, get cited by the courts.
  • Judges read law professor blogs as a form of legal scholorship and dialogue on the law.
  • Law professor blogs influence the ABA’s committees, rulings and policy making.
  • Conensus of professors in the session was that 10% of the professors at their law schools were blogging,
  • Law school deans like their law professors blogging because of the notoriety it brings the professors and the schools.
  • Blog posts need not be a thousand words or more. Though some posts may be longer in nature, 400 hundred to 600 words is fine.
  • Law professors, like practicing lawyers who blog, like to follow stats and traffic. Who’s reading, how many are reading and where readers are located.
  • Law professors were in 100% agreement that blogs belong separate and apart from a law school website – a blog is an independent publication and a law professor needs to maintain ownership of their blog.
  • Being recognized as a top 100 legal blog in the annual Blawg 100 by the ABA Journal is valued by law professors.
  • The blog publishing platform, TypePad, not used by many professionals, was used by some of the professors, by virtue of Professor Paul Caron’s Law Professor Blog Network using Typepad.
  • Law professors use other social media as an adjunct to their blogging, just like practicing lawyers who blog – Twitter and LinkedIn, more than Facebook.
  • Law professors who do not blog and use social, but whom show an interest, are as lost as to what it’s all about as practicing law students.

I enjoyed attending, met a professor or two who is interested in blogging with LexBlog’s Law School Blog Network and will make it a point to attend AALS in the future.

Through efficiency brought by technology and a law school’s commitment to introduce its students to more effective business models and technology to improve legal services, LexBlog is moving forward with a Law School Blog Network offering law students, professors and administrators its blogging platform and services at no cost.

A year ago I was talking with Michigan State University Law Professor, and then Assistant Dean for Career Development, Daniel Linna, about the possibility of some day having free blogs for law students. What seemed like a pipe dream to me then is now a reality — and then some.

I was back in East Lansing teaching at a social media bootcamp for students, professors and administrators. At that time, Linna was launching The Center for Legal Services Innovation, LegalRnD for short, to study and introduce students to technology and innovation to make legal services more available to moderate income Americans and less expensive to businesses.

Part of the discussion concerned the power of blogging for learning, for building a name for yourself, building a network and making legal services more available through young lawyers with niche expertise. Let alone the contribution to advancing the law via open publishing.

In only the way Linna can put the subtle pressure on you, he says, “Gee, that would be pretty cool if you could make blog software and services free to law schools.” He had me.

One problem. A year ago, a project (blog site) at LexBlog took fifty hours of time – intake, design, development, quality assurance, content about the publisher etc. Free is pretty expensive at that rate.

Fast forward to today and LexBlog has become fifty times more efficient. What used to take 50 hours takes an hour. My tech team, led by our CTO, Joshua Lynch, is looking to push it further – maybe get it to 15 minutes in some situations.

This efficiency was brought about by moving the company from an agency to a software company.

Rather than design in Photoshop (.psd’s), developing sites and making modifications to sites separately as website developers and marketing agencies do, LexBlog has developed its own publishing software on WordPress core.

Think of software as a service such as Salesforce or Clio, except with a custom front interface. Bottom line we’re disruptive to the industry and able to do more for people.

With this increased efficiency we realized we could build a “Law School Blog Network.” LexBlog would offer the most comprehensive blog publishing software in the industry as a service to law students, law professors and law school administrators. All for free – blog publishing software, mobile design, hosting, SEO, marketing, free ongoing support and syndication across the LexBlog Network, including a forthcoming Law School Blog Network.

Blog software is free – in theory. But it’s not tailored for the law, folks don’t know where to start, their blog cannot be found, they don’t know how to maintain it and don’t know good blogging from bad. If you’re putting in the time, we want you to build a name for yourself in an area that you love.

To see an example of a blog on the Law School Blog Network blog, check out Dan Linna’s LegalTech Lever. Michigan State Colors and logo – everything Sparty (school mascot), the law school and the alumni could love.

Linna owns the content, title and domain name. He is free to move the content to any other branded site, whether part of the Law School Blog Network, or not, at any time he chooses. No strings attached.

For an example of a law student’s blog, see Miguel Willis’ Innovative Law Student. Seattle University Law School colors and logo.

Law student? Law professor? Law school administrator? Want to start blogging or are already blogging on a less than professional software without accompanying support, let us know. It will be our honor to help.

You can use the contact form on this blog or on LexBlog, and we’ll get back to you. You can also reach me via social media or email.

University of Arkansas property law professor, Steve Clowney (@steveclowney), who teaches property law has put together a list of the most “cited” property law professors in the country over the last five years.

Although Clowney does not make clear the purpose of his list, it appears to being taken as recognition of the top scholars.

Law schools, including Notre Dame, are sending out press announcements of the prowess of the scholarship being conducted by their law professors on the list.

The list was arrived at by running searches across Westlaw for the number of times that a professor’s law journal articles had been cited in other law journals.

Is such a list an accurate assessment of a law professor’s influence and level of scholarship today?

What about their blogging? How often do they blog (evidence of their research)? How often do they cite other blogs (demonstrates their network)? How often are their blogs cited on other blogs and shared on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook?

How does a professor use other social networks for collaboration, learning and networking? Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.

Law journals can be very insular and slow moving when it comes to legal scholarship. Most are not read by anyone other than fellow academics. This leaves the academics penning journal articles out of the legal discussion being driven by blogs published by practicing lawyers, law students, other law professors and media commentators.

At a time when law schools are scrambling to make themselves relevant and prepare their grads for the world ahead, why would law schools reward their law professors for nor engaging with the real world?

Law journals are also very slow in developing and advancing legal scholarship. With the advent of the Internet, and with it blogs and social media, thought leadership moves quickly. Professionals in other arenas are learning and advancing knowledge at speeds far greater than ever before.

Courts are citing blogs and many law journals written by law professors are citing blogs. One law professor tells me off the record that they are looked at as a leading scholar in their field, in substantial part because traditional law review articles are citing their blog, boosting their citation count compared to many of their peers.

It makes little sense to say that professors get hired, promoted and make tenure based on traditional legal research so only law reviews and law journals must be how scholarship is measured. That’s a hamster wheel and sounds similar to what newspaper publishers argued.

Including blogging as a measure of scholorship drives needed change. The vast majority of law professors and law firm administrators have no idea of what blogging and the use of social networks really mean when it comes to professional development and the advancement of the law. Make blogging and social networking a measure of one’s scholarship and you’ll see a move towards the future.

It seems to me the measure of legal scholarship today would include a lot more than law journal and law review articles.

Am I missing something?