The (Temporary) Final Conclusion of 3L Epiphany
I had planned on blogging during the summer while I simultaneously studied for the Bar Exam. I have decided that this is no longer realistic, and that I would prefer to be completely undistracted. So this will probably be my final post for the next two months. I do plan to continue blogging once the Bar is over, and I will decide then how to resurrect 3L Epiphany (including whether it should receive a new name, now that I am no longer a 3L).
Probably because of the recent American Lawyer article, I have been receiving many visitors from Google searches for “3L Epiphany.” For those readers who are visiting for the first time, here is the Taxonomy of Legal Blogs which is referred to in the article. Here also is a Table of Contents which contains most of my work on 3L Epiphany.
The Table of Contents was compiled in April, so it does not include the following major posts from the end of the semester (in chronological order):
I would like to thank all of my readers from the past several months for making 3L Epiphany a successful experiment. I am especially grateful to my fellow legal bloggers who encouraged me (and linked to me) throughout the semester. Most of all, I would like to thank Prof. Doug Berman, my advisor for this project, for his warm and enthusiastic support from the very beginning. It was Prof. Berman’s blog, Sentencing Law and Policy, that was the inspiration behind 3L Epiphany.
I will resume regular blogging in some form at the end of the summer. At that time I will clarify what the future of 3L Epiphany holds. Meanwhile, for the next two months I plan to avoid the online world altogether, and blog only if it is absolutely necessary. I expect that there is enough material here to keep interested readers occupied for a while. I hope to see everyone again when the Bar Exam is over.
Ian Best (3L Epiphany)
American Lawyer: Blawgs on a Roll
Dahlia Lithwick has a great article entitled Blawgs on a Roll in the June issue of The American Lawyer on the Web. It mentions 3L Epiphany along with several other legal blogs. Here is an extensive quote:
“Blawgs”-for the uninitiated-are legal blogs, and if you haven't incorporated them into your daily reading, you are missing out. The most compelling, cutting-edge, honest legal writing being produced in this country today is happening on the Internet, and the crop improves daily. From the fistful of judges (including Richard Posner) who maintain regular blogs, to the vast and growing number of law professors and law students who find the time to post daily, it's clear that the real bones and guts and sinew of the national conversation is happening online, and not in print.
As I write this column, the major newspapers are consumed with two or three big legal stories. And that's fine. But, today in the blogosphere, the debate ranges from free speech on college campuses (at The Volokh Conspiracy) to Yale's decision to admit a Taliban student (at Glenn Reynolds's Instapundit). Douglas Berman-whose blog, Sentencing Law and Policy, has now been cited in 21 judicial opinions-is tracking the fallout from the Supreme Court's sentencing guidelines cases. Lawrence Solum is unpacking the “nuclear option” on his Legal Theory Blog, while Rick Garnett engages PrawfsBlawg readers in a discussion of free speech constraints on religious ministers. Meanwhile, Howard Bashman offers a clearinghouse of all the legal news of the day at his über-blawg, How Appealing. [Bashman's blog, which can be found at howappealing.law.com, is an affiliate of ALM's Law.com network.]
And that's not even the tip of the iceberg. Ian Best, a third-year law student at Moritz College of Law, is creating an online taxonomy of blogs by attorneys, judges, and law professors-and he's still counting at 643. Best's site, which calls itself 3L Epiphany, offers ample proof that the Internet is poised to accommodate an entire universe of lawyers and legal thinkers. Why? Because it promotes dialogue, offers instant access to primary texts, and imposes no space or time constraints.
I fully agree with Ms. Lithwick that “[t]he most compelling, cutting-edge, honest legal writing being produced in this country today is happening on the Internet.” In particular, legal blogs have allowed new types of “short-form” scholarship to develop. This topic was discussed in detail at the Harvard Bloggership Conference. Similar discussions, concerning the advantages of legal blogs over traditional law reviews, are collected in this index.
The article states that the number of legal blogs in my Taxonomy is 643. This is correct. My original count of legal blogs before I began categorizing them was 686. In creating my taxonomy I removed many blogs that were inactive or insufficiently legal. I simultaneously discovered and added more legal blogs that were not on my original list. So 643 is the accurate current number. I have since collected more legal blogs, but have not had adequate time to include them in my taxonomy. I plan to add these blogs throughout the summer.
The article also mentions that Prof. Doug Berman’s Sentencing Law and Policy Blog has been cited 21 times in judicial opinions. Those opinions are included in this collection: Cases Citing Legal Blogs. [One minor correction to the article: the 21 citations occurred in 17 different cases, not 21.]
60 Sites in 60 Minutes
My Taxonomy of Legal Blogs was included in the recent ABA Techshow’s “60 Sites in 60 Minutes.” To see a complete list of all 60 sites, go here. For an archived “Hall of Fame” containing sites from previous years, go here.