With all the recent discussion of law schools leaving students unprepared for the real world and the thousands of law grads without jobs, maybe we ought to be teaching blogging at law schools. Jacques Von Lunen in Vancouver, Washington’s Columbian reports on blogging pioneer, Lorelle VanFossen (@lorelleonwp), teaching WordPress at Clark College. The class, not just for developers, is attracting students in business and other majors. I’m right with Von Lunen that WordPress has become ubiquitous and knowing it can be a great benefit for many careers. Including the law. Per Bob Hughes, the head of Clark College’s computer technology department, “WordPress is the ideal complement to existing Clark College classes. Students can add the software to their design, marketing, business or programming skill sets.” I’m not suggesting that law schools turn into trade schools. But writing, and in effect publishing, is at the heart of being an attorney. So is collaboration and networking to learn from other attorneys and thought leaders. Online writing, networking and collaboration, of which blogging (and in turn WordPress), is at the center of, is becoming more important than writing and networking offline today. As with Clark College, you need not make blogging a regular part of the law school curriculum. You can test it or offer it as adjunct class to law students. Law schools concerned about getting their students jobs, and I hope that includes all of them, would be well served to introduce their students to blogging. There’s no better way for a law student to network with leading lawyers, alums and potential employers than blogging. There’s no better way for a law student to demonstrate their passion for and desire to get into a niche area of the law than blogging. Law students aren’t likely to come into law school knowing how to blog. By and large, law students are not computer programers and developers. Nor are they journalism grads. Law students could use a little help and encouragement. Want to get your law school on the map for recruiting students and law professors? Demonstrate your scholarship through law blogs. Your law school’s law review is likely not a big draw. Finally, there’s potential employment for law grads outside the practice of law. Legal publishers, news companies, and law firms are going to be looking for students who know social media and blogging They’re also going to want people who know the law for those growing areas of online media. The average salary for developers knowing WordPress is $45,000. Add a law degree and you’ll likely hit $75 to $80,000. Not $150,000 as in big law on Wall Street, but a good start to chasing something you may love. Blogging, including WordPress, in deed has a place in forward thinking law schools.
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