By Kevin O'Keefe

Law Blogs a Leading Source of News From the Courts


“Coupled with the necessity of current awareness to understand the Court, the constitutional design of American society requires a union between the Court and the media in order for the opinions of the Court to reach the citizenry. Legal blogs have become one of the leading current awareness sources for the Court. Among legal blogs covering the Court, SCOTUSblog is an exemplary resource.”

I read the above in “U.S. Supreme Court Current Awareness and Legal Blogs in the Law Library,” (pdf) by then legal library degree candidate and now lawyer, Justin Abbasi, in my research about the preservation of legal blogs.

Abbasi went on to cite Lyle Denniston, who covered the Supreme Court since 1958, and for SCOTUSblog from 2004 to 2016.

“[W]ho will tell the American people what their Supreme Court is, what it’s doing, where it’s going, who’s on it? Who will be paying attention? I’m not sure I know the answer to that.”

Abbusi goes on to explain the dual role of libraries as to reporting on the courts. One, to make news of the courts immediately available. And two, to keep a history of news from the courts – an archive.

The archive more important today, now that the Court releases decisions from its website rather than via newspapers and pamphlets, per Abbusi

Legal blogs being a leading source of court news and analysis need to be archived.

Sure, the quality between one legal blog and another differs. Some lawyers and law firms have stooped to use this means of legal reporting to a form of “junk news” to active selfishly achieve search engine rankings.

Other blogging lawyers – thousands of them – are doing an excellent job of reporting news from the courts. More than just news, they’re sharing legal insight and commentary telling their audience the implication of the the court’s decision.

Abbasi limits his analysis – and excellent one you should read – to that of the Supreme Court. His logic applies to courts at all levels across this country – and to good legal blogs covering them.

Kevin O'Keefe
About the Author

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

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