Why Not Legal Blogging Classes at Law Schools?
Is there a law school which teaches law students the skill of blogging? Whether a class or a program affiliated with the career development office?
I have not found one yet, though Daniel Linna did a heck of a job introducing students to blogging and social media while he was a professor at Michigan State University Law School.
I don’t mean to imply that legal blogging is preferred to the traditional legal writing track at law schools. That argument cannot be won, nor should it be argued.
At the same time, there are law professor blogs exceeding The Harvard Law Review on their Alexa Ranking (Amazon tool measuring web ranking).
Law blogs also have a history of building a law professor’s and a law school’s reputation.
In the case of MSU College of Law (Michigan State) law students received clerking opportunties, speaking engagements and employment upon graduation as a result of their legal blogging.
Indiana University – Maurer School of Law Professor William Henderson recently wrote on the influence his blog gave him, more so he made clear than he would have achieved through writing for law reviews and law journals.
Henderson’s Legal Evolution (blog) recently received an ISSN number from the Library of Congress.
The reason for an ISSN, as Henderson explains, “was less about being tracked by libraries and more about documenting our status as knowledge, on par with materials in journals, magazines, newspapers, and other periodicals.”
With the likes of law professor and former dean at Northwestern Law School, Dan Rodriguez, an Assistant General at Microsoft and a who’s who of other leaders in the evolution of the law, there’s no question that Henderson’s blog is on par with journals, periodicals and the like.
Brooklyn Law School professor Jodi Balsam, who with law students launched the blog, Brooklyn Sports and Entertainment Law, published in 2015, “Law Blogging Engages Students in Writing That Connects Theory to Practice and Develops Profressional Identity.”
Law school doctrinal courses requiring students to produce writing assignments, as opposed to blogs, can stimulate meaningful learning, per Balsam, “but students do not engage as thoroughly because the end product is not put to any purpose other than generating a grade.”
Balsam believes one way to introduce authenticity and immediacy into legal writing is blogging by law students. She also sees law blogs as a dynamic and flourishing platform for connecting legal professionals.
Be it a platform, or community, I have always seen blogging as one which law students could learn from and network with legal professionals.
Legal blogging, not a doctrinal class, would provide law students the ability to connect theory with practice, to build a reputation, gain employment in an area in which they have a passion (during school and as a law grad) and pick up a life time skill they’ll use throughout their career as a lawyer.
Why not legal blogging classes at law schools?