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Blogs are Liberating the Profession from Dull Writing

Prof. Doug Berman has a new article in the National Law Journal entitled Blogs are Liberating the Profession from Dull Writing. It provides an excellent overview of why lawyers and law professors are turning to blogs as an alternative means of publishing and communication. The article mentions the collections on 3L Epiphany of cases citing legal blogs and law review articles citing legal blogs. The article also includes quotations from these two interviews I conducted with judges:

Here is an excerpt:

The growing respect for blogging among legal professionals stems in part from the medium's tendency to resist the worst excesses of the traditional forms of legal writing and publication. Many legal documents and most traditional law review articles can be ponderous, with assertions over-wrought, arguments over-made, principles over-cited and everything over-written. The blog medium fosters and rewards succinct expression. For legal writers and legal readers, it is liberating and refreshing to have thought-provoking ideas about the law expressed in only a few paragraphs or even a few sentences.

The blog medium also mitigates against encumbering legal points with endless footnotes and citations. Bloggers can provide references through hyperlinks to original sources or other blogs, but this reality highlights another technological virtue of the medium for developing and expressing legal ideas. Through links, blogs can facilitate a more direct and immediate engagement with original legal materials-whether cases, statutes, briefs, reports or articles-for the blogger and the blog-reader. Through linking, blogs also can foster a more direct and immediate engagement with other lawyers and law professors working on related issues.

Valuably, blogs enable lawyers and law professors to reach an extensive and extraordinarily diverse audience, and to interact with many new people as "cyber-peers." Blogs facilitate exposure to, and scrutiny by, a national and international readership. A blog's audience can include not only judges and practitioners at all levels and in many jurisdictions, but also policymakers, academics from many disciplines and journalists of all stripes. In addition, blogs are accessible to non-lawyers interested in legal issues and, perhaps most valuably, the real people whose lives are affected by the legal policies and doctrines that a blog may discuss. Through comments, links and other means, blogs foster continuous interactions with sophisticated (and unsophisticated) readers that can provide for a distinct and valuable form of peer review.

September 11, 2006 in Blog Articles, Publicity | Permalink


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