Monday, September 11, 2006

Another blog post about a piece about blog posts

I now see that a piece I put together about blogging for the National Law Journal is now available here.  Though the title selected by the NLJ for the piece makes me cringe, I am truly grateful that the NLJ asked me to assemble some blogging thoughts for its publication.  And, to return the favor, let me note that the NLJ has a lot of other interesting looking stories in this week's issue (even though the title of this post is perhaps cringe-worthy).

Hat tip: this post at 3L Epiphany (which needs a new name now that its author has graduated).

September 11, 2006 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Thursday, September 07, 2006

YLJ Pocket Part on the future of legal scholarship

The Yale Law Journal Pocket Part has just published this on-line symposium entitled the "Future of Legal Scholarship."  The symposium includes an eclectic set of pieces from an eclectic set of law professors, most of whom are well-known bloggers. 

Folks interested in the "blog as scholarship" debate will be drawn to this piece from Jack Balkin, entitled "Online Legal Scholarship: The Medium and the Message."  Jack's closing paragraphs echo themes I developed in my article "Scholarship in Action: The Power, Possibilities, and Pitfalls for Law Professor Blogs" (available here) presented at last April's Harvard Law School symposium.  Here is Jack's astute concluding sentiment:

The wrong question to focus on is whether hiring committees should count blogging as legal scholarship.  The right question is how we should re-imagine our vocation as professors of law in light of new online media.  Should we continue to speak mostly to ourselves and our students, or should we spend more time trying to teach and influence the outside world?  That choice will determine whether we increasingly value blogging or stick with traditional forms of scholarship.  There are many possible paths to choose from, but if you don't know where you are going, almost any road will get you there.

Some related posts on law blogging and scholarship:

September 7, 2006 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Pass out the cigars, I'm a granddaddy

Thanks to Ian Best here at 3L Epiphany, I just saw this National Law Journal article entitled "Judges Cite More Blogs in Rulings: Law student survey finds 32 Web log citations in the last two years."  The article provides details and commentary on Ian's latest accounting of cases citing blogs.  I get this nice plug in the article:

The granddaddy of all cited blogs, Ohio State law Professor Douglas Berman's "Sentencing Law and Policy," focuses almost exclusively on development of case law in the circuits since the Booker and Blakely decisions.  His blog has been cited more than any other, 24 times in 19 opinions, including Stevens' dissent in Booker, according to Best's tally.

September 6, 2006 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Yet another scholarly gap-filler

As noted here a few days ago, First Impressions from the Michigan Law Review purports to "fill the gap between the blogosphere and the traditional law review article."  I called this entity an interesting variation on the Harvard Law Review's Forum and the Yale Law Jounal's Pocket Part, and I wondered if other like projects are in the works elsewhere. 

Now I see that the University of Pennsylvania Law Review is getting in on the act with PENnumbra, which apparently seeks to "unit[e] the public and the legal academy."  Hmm.... whatever gap there was in short-form scholarship is sure getting filled up fast.  I have an inkling that other such blog-journal synergies may be on the way, and now I wonder if the long-form law review may be really starting to show its age.

September 5, 2006 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Saturday, August 19, 2006

Updated list of law review articles citing blogs

Ian at 3L Epiphany has here updated his extraordinary compilation of law review articles citing blogs.  According to Ian, there are now "489 article citations of legal blogs in this collection, with 75 legal blogs being cited."

Gordon Smith at Conglomerate has this fitting reaction: "All told, 75 legal blogs have been cited at least once in law reviews. That's more than can be said for over 160,000 law review articles."

August 19, 2006 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thursday, August 17, 2006

More meta-blogging and nice reviews

Over at the WSJ blog, Peter Lattman provides a nice plug here for my article "Scholarship in Action: The Power, Possibilities, and Pitfalls for Law Professor Blogs" (available here) that I presented at last April's Harvard Law School symposium, "Bloggership: How Blogs are Transforming Legal Scholarship Conference."   And Bill Henderson at the ELS Blog follows up with this kind post.

Some related posts on law blogging and scholarship:

August 17, 2006 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Friday, August 11, 2006

Another plug for a new blog

I want to urge readers again to check out Michael Connelly's new (group?) blog called Corrections Sentencing.  Mike is doing great work right out of the gate, and I found especially intriguing this latest post on the work of, and perceptions of, sentencing commissions.

August 11, 2006 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Fascincating new blog for law professor baseball fans

I am quite intrigued to discover this new blog, MoneyLaw.  Here is a portion of its first post:

Inspired by Michael Lewis's book, Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game, many law professors have pondered the extent to which this profession can learn from Billy Beane's approach to winning baseball games for the Oakland Athletics. Four of those professors — Jim Chen, Tom W. Bell, Paul Caron, and Ronen Perry — will now discuss the ways in which Moneyball's emphasis on quantitative assessment of baseball-related performance can inform law school governance, academic rankings, and the overall mission of legal academia.

The second post is a long one by Tom Bell on "Reforming the USN&WR Law School Rankings."

August 10, 2006 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

New blog for sentencing and corrections information

I learned at the NASC conference earlier this week that Michael Connelly, who is now the Administrator of the Evaluation & Analysis Unit of the Oklahoma Department of Corrections and previously served as executive director of sentencing commissions in Maryland and Wisconsin, has a new (group?) blog up-and-running called Corrections Sentencing.

Though only started last week, CS already has a lot of interesting posts, including a series of posts at this archive with lots of links to resources and reports on corrections and sentencing.  Michael also has this recent post about the NASC conference.  A post here effectively explains the noble motivations for this new blogosphere entrant:

As participants in corrections and/or sentencing policy for over a decade now, we've found the lack of constant, consistent forums for practitioners, policymakers, and the public to seriously review and discuss what's happening a problem. I've regularly gotten questions from people in other states wanting to know about sentencing commissions and treatment research and cost-effectiveness and on and on. The same is true, I'm sure, for a lot of you regarding sentencing or questions in corrections....

There should be a place for corrections/sentencing policy readers seeking latest information and research, answers to questions and concerns, or just general conversation on shared worlds.  That's what this blog will try to be.  We'll try to keep "politics" to a minimum (good luck to us on that, we realize, but Berman has pretty much pulled it off).  But we will not shy away from relevant discussions of what both reality and illusion tell us about getting sentencing done with corrections in mind. We encourage you to help us make a community here of people who can support each other in making their corrections and sentencing policy the best informed and organized they can be. We want to hear your experiences and to share your knowledge with others. We want you to find answers to specific questions here and to provide answers to others. We want to be a place you want to visit regularly, for the info, for the ideas, for the company. We'll post open threads so you can let us know in your comments what we need to do to get all this done. And if it turns out people don't really need this very much, at least someone will have made the effort. We don't think that will be the case.

August 9, 2006 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Updated list of cases citing blogs

Over at 3L Epiphany, Ian Best has here updated his terrific list of cases citing legal blogs.  Ian now chronicles, with helpful annotations, the particulars of "32 citations of legal blogs from 27 different cases."

UPDATE: Spurred by Ian's work, Belle Lettre has this interesting post and Larry Solum has this insightful follow-up on the legal blogosphere.

August 6, 2006 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Strong coverage of law blogging

Thanks to this link from the Northwestern School of Law, everyone can access a strong new article on law blogging appearing The Chicago Lawyer.  Titled "Law-Related Blogging Starting To See a Coming of Age," the article covers a lot of ground that should be of interest to many in the legal blogosphere.  Here's a taste:

Lawyers who blog say the medium can offer several benefits in the practice and business of law.  Many of them describe blogging as a mode of communication unlike any other, a 21st century style of networking....

Since lawyers read, write, analyze, and argue for a living, their leap into the blogosphere seems only natural.  "A lot of them love writing and have a personality where they love to be heard. Lawyers are naturally going to be prolific in this area," said Dennis Crouch, of counsel at McDonnell Boehnen Hulbert & Berghoff.

Crouch has reaped tangible benefits from his place in the blogosphere, which has helped jump-start his career.  He attributes his newly acquired position at Boston University School of Law -- where he will teach patent law and computer law -- largely to the popularity of his own patent law blog, Patently-O.  "It turned out that several professors at Boston University read this on a regular basis. They were very excited about having me come and be a part of the faculty.  It was very magical," Crouch said.

Some related posts on law blogging:

July 30, 2006 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, July 23, 2006

On blogs, clinics and court advocacy

Thanks to, here are two interesting piece about modern developments in court advocacy:

Combining the ideas from both these intriguing pieces, I wonder if any law school has thought about launching a legal blogging clinic with an emphasis on court advocacy.

July 23, 2006 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Around the blogosphere (Hamdan free)

Nearly every law blog will give you a taste of Hamdan, so I'll fill a gap by noting some interesting coverage of other issues:

June 29, 2006 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Interesting new blog: "Crime and Consequences"

I have made it to beautiful San Diego, and waiting for me in my e-mail in-box was this interesting note about this interesting new criminal justice blog:

Blogs discussing crime and criminal law have, up to this point, been written largely from a criminal defense viewpoint.   The Criminal Justice Legal Foundation, based in Sacramento, California, has today launched a blog to provide daily updates on current news, court rulings, commentary and research, generally reflecting a scholarly pro-law enforcement perspective.

Among the contributors are former United States Attorney General Edwin Meese, Former Harvard, UCLA and current Pepperdine Public Policy professor James Q. Wilson, Professor Joseph Bessette (Claremont McKenna College), Professor George Kelling (Rutgers), Professor Isaac Ehrlich (University of Buffalo), Professor Barry Latzer (John Jay College of Criminal Justice), former California prosecutor Douglas Pipes, Texas Solicitor General Ted Cruz and CJLF Legal Director Kent Scheidegger....

The blog is titled "Crime and Consequences" to reflect its underlying philosophy of criminal law.  People make choices, and choices have consequences.  That is true of the perpetrator’s decision to commit the crime and of society's decision regarding what to do about it. The Criminal Justice Legal Foundation has helped win four United States Supreme Court decisions benefiting law enforcement and public safety during the Court's current term.

June 21, 2006 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (7) | TrackBack

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Kind blog words from an insightful commentator

While meeting so many nice folks at the terrific Miami FSG conference, I am reminded how the blog creates an immediate connection with a diverse array of persons interested in sentencing topics.  Writing on related themes, the always insightful (and cutting-edge) Dahlia Lithwick has this great essay in the latest issue of The American Lawyer entitled, "Blawgs on a Roll: Legal reporting is sometimes decried as boring and inaccurate; But a band of savvy law professors have changed all that."  Here's a sample (at some length because it's so kind):

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.

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....

[L]egal blogging is wonderfully technical and detailed, but also largely accessible and opinionated. In the blogosphere, the taboo on opinionated legal writing has been lifted. Even better, law professors, who can be exceedingly cautious in print, sometimes become slightly drunk on the Internet's thin air.  Whereas legal thinkers once limited their most serious scholarship to law review articles, occasionally nipping out into the dangerous world to write an op-ed, now many of them offer off-the-cuff observations about everything from partial birth abortion bans to their favorite CDs, several times daily.  The blogosphere thrives precisely because it exists at the interstices of the ivory tower and pop culture.  As a result, it's the most fertile ground for cutting-edge law talk.

To be sure, legal bloggers are still working through their growing pains. Debate rages among them about whether law review articles are relevant anymore, whether blogging counts as real scholarship, whether junior faculty should avoid blogging until they gain tenure, why women tend to eschew legal blogs, what counts as a legal blog, and so on. Opinions are all over the map.  But the conversation is almost always precise, thoughtful, respectful, and responsive: a respite from the screaming and fist-shaking that goes on in the rest of the blogosphere.  And no one is charging a dime for it.

June 1, 2006 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Another amazing blog year

It has now been exactly two years since my first post.  (For my own record keeping, I must note that this is post number 3211, which means I've barely slowed down since my last blogiversary).  As I explained last year, when I started this blog, I never could have predicted that the Supreme Court and others would do so much to make sentencing law and policy so dynamic and interesting and blog-worthy.  I also never expected to make so many friends and learn so much through this medium. I am sincerely grateful for all the help, encouragement and thanks that I have received from so many (cyber)sentencing compatriots.

To celebrate another blogiversary, I have created these new category indexes in order to better archive some of my "meta" posts:

I have not yet found time to re-file all my old posts into these new categories, but each index is complete for 2006 posts.

May 14, 2006 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Fodder for fans of meta-blogging

Since this wrap-up post, I have not done much meta-blogging about scholarly blogging in the wake of the law blogger conference at Harvard Law School.   But today brings some notable blog posts about law professor blogging: e.g., Ethan Leib here discusses "Election Law Super-Blogging" and Miriam Cherry here discusses pre-emption in the blogosphere.  My favorite, though, is this post from Howard Bashman, in which he links this recent column of his appearing in The Legal Intelligencer.  That column, entitled "The Battle Over the Soul of Law Professor Blogs," provides another recap of the HLS event and also has these very nice things to say about my efforts:

The "Sentencing Law and Policy" blog stands as the epitome of a law professor blog that deserves to be viewed both as scholarship and public service.  The blog reports in a timely manner on significant state and federal court rulings in the area of criminal sentencing, and the blog regularly posts to the internet copies of legislative reports, briefs, and even court opinions that otherwise would not be readily accessible online.

Perhaps for these reasons, "Sentencing Law and Policy" is the blog that has thus far been cited most frequently in court opinions and law review articles.  Yet notwithstanding the blog's focus on a particular legal subject matter, the blog's author, Professor Berman, frequently reveals his passion for sports and popular culture.  The site proves beyond any doubt that a law professor's blog that deserves to count as scholarship and public service need not be bereft of personality or pop culture.

Thanks, Howard.  I'll have to be sure to treat Howard to a Phillies game (or a deductable sex toy?) to repay the favor.

Some recent related posts:

May 11, 2006 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Is blogging about the bluebook scholarship?

As detailed in posts here and here (and in this collection from 3L Epiphany) the law blogger conference at Harvard Law School has produced great debates over whether blogging is scholarship. 

But now the question need to be refined to consider whether blogging about the Bluebook is scholarship, because Ilya Somin is doing a fascinating job taking the Bluebook to task in great posts here and here

Meanwhile, in a fitting ironic twist, blogger Christine Hurt has this interesting piece of (traditional?) scholarhsip posted at SSRN entitled "The Bluebook at Eighteen: Reflecting and Ratifying Current Trends in Legal Scholarship."

May 3, 2006 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

Saturday, April 29, 2006

Historical reflections on the law blogging conference

Unsurprisingly, law bloggers are providing diverse assessments of the law blogger conference at Harvard Law School.  You can check out distinctive accounts from Althouse, Concurring Opinions, Legal Theory Blog and Timothy Armstrong, and decide for yourself who has produced the King James version of the law professor blogging bible.  (The conference papers can still be accessed at this special SSRN page.)

Reflecting on all the blog talk, a (slightly artificial but useful) dichotomy about history captures my sense of the current divide between traditional legal scholarship and blogging.  Orin Kerr in his paper says serious legal scholarship is supposed to be "lasting," but that seems a more fitting account of historical scholarship.  And that leads me to realize the forms and norms of traditional legal scholarship have evolved to a point where law review articles are now much better suited to reflecting on legal history, rather than being suited to helping shape legal history.

This simply dichotomy — between writing that reflects on legal history and writing that seeks to shape legal history — gives me an interesting frame for examining other conference contributions.  Gail Heriot suggests in her paper that bloggers are following in the footsteps of Plubius; obviously, the Federalist Papers were written to shape history, not to simply reflect on it.  Similarly, points made by Randy Barnett, Michael Froomkin, Larry Ribstein, Eugene Volokh, Orin and others about law professors as public intellectuals highlight that most law professors are interested in shaping current legal debates; we generally are not — and should not — be content to just sit on the sidelines writing "serious legal scholarship" that merely records and reflects on legal debates for the ages.

This historical frame on the blog-as-scholarship debate also informs many others' comments, given that, as Winston Churchill famously said, "history is written by the victors."  Tellingly, Paul Butler — the only person of color speaking at the conference — started by saying that blogs "walk up to legal scholarship and slap it in the face."  Traditional legal scholarship has rarely focused on issues of the greatest importance to minorities and the disenfranchised, whose issues are hard to see clearly from the heights of the ivory tower.  Ann Althouse's entire approach to blogging highlights the import and value of shaking up traditional norms of both legal scholarship and the public engagement of law professors.

Stated in extreme terms, traditional legal scholarship is now best suited to reflecting a top-down view of legal history, while law blogs present the possibility of helping to shape legal history from the bottom-up.  (Law professor boggers are, after all, one unit in an Army of Davids.)  Indeed, perhaps this explains Brian Leiter's debatable observation that "that only a miniscule number of first-rate legal scholars in any field actually blog on scholarly topics."  Folks who achieve the most success articulating their own top-down views of legal history may be less inclined to spend time trying to help shape legal history from the bottom-up.  In my view of a perfect scholarly world, law professors should aspire to do both.

April 29, 2006 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (14) | TrackBack

Friday, April 28, 2006

If you love blogging about blogging about blogging...

Rashomon then you will love this post.

I'm done with my panel at this conference at Harvard Law School — entitled "Bloggership: How Blogs Are Transforming Legal Scholarship" — on blogs and legal scholarship.  As is always the case in conferences of this nature, I now feel like I did not have the time to say most of what I wanted to say (and I'm sure even what I said could have been said a lot better).  But, of more lasting import, I can sit in the audience and multi-task, and right now I'm listening to panel two and also checking out who else is commenting on the conference.  Here's what I've found:

Have I missed anyone?  Needless to say, I see the diversity of perspectives in all these comments — and their Rashomon quality — reinforce some of the points I make in my paper contribution (one of the bunch that can be accessed at this special SSRN page).

April 28, 2006 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Friday, April 21, 2006

Blogging about scholarship about blogging and scholarship

Marking a true high-tech Seinfeldian moment, this post is to note that all the scholarship being developed for this exciting conference at Harvard Law School on blogs and legal scholarship — entitled "Bloggership: How Blogs Are Transforming Legal Scholarship"  — can now be accessed at this special SSRN page.  (I suppose a true Seinfeldian blog moment would be a post about nothing, but I'll leave that for Larry David to do.)

As law professor who thinks a lot about blogging and legal scholarship, I am finding all the papers for the conference absolutely fascinating.  My own contribution, which can be accessed here and has the working title of "Scholarship in Action: The Power, Possibilities, and Pitfalls for Law Professor Blogs," starts with this abstract:

At the heart of the debate over law blogs as legal scholarship are bigger and more important (and perhaps scarier) questions about legal scholarship and the activities of law professors.  First, the blog-as-scholarship debate raises fundamental questions about what exactly legal scholarship is and why legal scholarship should be considered an essential part of a law professor's vocation. And the key follow-up question is whether blogging should be part of that vocation.  In this paper, I set out a few initial observations about the evolution and value of legal scholarship, and then share some thoughts on the power, possibilities, and pitfalls of law professors blogging to explain why I hope blogging will become an accepted part of a law professor's vocation.

Of course, comments from readers on my paper (or any others by conference participants) would be most welcome.

April 21, 2006 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Law review citations to blogs

Continuing his great meta-blogging work, Ian Best at 3L Epiphany now has this post collecting law review articles citing legal blogs.  The diverse array of blogs that have been cited in law reviews is very interesting.

Some recent related posts:

April 20, 2006 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Judges on blogs and blogging

As first noted in this post, Ian Best at 3L Epiphany has impressively assembled here a (comprehensive?) collection of cases that cite legal blogs.  In addition, Ian apparently sent the judges who have cited blogs a series of interesting follow-up questions.  At least two judges have already thoughtfully responded:

For anyone interesting in judging, blogging or just the future of legal ideas and practices, these two blog interviews (blogerviews?) are must reading.

April 18, 2006 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Saturday, April 15, 2006

Blogging news and notes

Lots of blogging news and notes this weekend:

UPDATE: Concurring Opinions has a funny riff on 3L Epiphany's blog cite count.

April 15, 2006 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Amazing taxonomy of legal blogs

As I have noted before, I am a bit obsessed with meta-blogging issues, particularly the power, potential and pitfalls of blogging as a medium for lawyers and law professors.  Feeding this obsession in various ways is Ian Best who at his blog 3L Epiphany has now completed this amazing taxonomy of legal blogs.

Some related posts:

March 29, 2006 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Friday, March 17, 2006

The power of legal blogs

The Daily Court Review today has this story, entitled "Hobby Turns Into Project To Track Lawyers' Blogs And Their Impact," which discusses the taxonomy of legal blogs being developed by OSU's own Ian Best at 3L Epiphany.  Here is a snippet:

Best says the best feature of the multitude of legal blogs is how research is presented.  Legal journals, he said, tend to be more static while the legal blogs are more interactive, making it easier to learn from.  He discovered, for instance, that not only attorneys and judges were reading [Douglas Berman's] blog about sentencing guidelines.  "Criminal defendants and victims were reading his blog," Best said. "They're not going to pick up a law journal. But they can read this and learn how this applies to their situation. This moves away from the ivory tower."...

Though the notoriety blogging has received is recent, Best said what it could achieve for the legal profession and mass communication is a broader audience and a more educated public. "It's all online and it's a superior way of doing it," he said.  "That'll be an outreach to the public.  Legal blogs have a real potential that can be transformed."

March 17, 2006 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Monday, March 13, 2006

Blog news and notes

1.  The folks running the Law Prof Blog Network have asked me to ask readers to please take a moment to fill out a short reader survey here.  The goal is to have a better idea about who is reading this blog so the network can better serve readers.  Thanks in advance for your help.  (The survey will remain at the top of the middle column throughout this week.)

2.  As detailed here over at 3L Epiphany — which is still creating buzz with his list of over 600 law blogs — the next two days uber-blogger Howard Bashman is on my turf.  (We will be speaking together tomorrow at this event.)

3.  As explained here, Prof. Orin Kerr has decided to open his own blog shingle at

March 13, 2006 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (3) | TrackBack

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Great WSJ article on law reviews, blogs and legal scholarship

As noted in various spots around the blogosphere (here and here) today's Wall Street Journal has this terrifically interesting article entitled "Law Reviews Adapt to New Era" which explores blogs and the future of legal scholarship in various ways.  Needless to say, and as documented by the posts below, these are topics of great interest to me:

February 21, 2006 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Some deep meta-blogging thoughts

In addition to being obsessed with sentencing issues, I am also a bit obsessed with meta-blogging issues, particularly the power, potential and pitfalls of blogging as a medium for lawyers and law professors.  (As discussed previously here, I am trying to find time to write a piece about blogs as legal scholarship, which builds on themes I developed at PrawfsBlawg here and here concerning how blogs might be improved as an academic medium.)

Anyone interested in these meta-blogging issue should be sure to check out this amazing post over at the new blog 3L Epiphany.  Ian Best has assembled "a collection of blog posts and articles on the subject of 'Academic Blogging' [which] indicates the growing importance and sophistication of the legal academic blogosphere."  Ian explains that his goal is "to demonstrate the value in organizing and structuring conversations from the blogosphere," and he also thoughtfully asks whether law student blogs will come to "achieve greater respectability, and contribute something of value to legal scholarship."  (By my lights, many law student blogs such as Crescat and De Novo and even BTQ already do.)

I am already a fan of 3L Epiphany (and I know Ian has many insights to share) because last summer Ian helped me create this set of webpages on sentencing resources, which sought to organizing some of my posts on topics such as Blakely in the States and Booker in the Circuits and Drug Sentencing.  In addition, Ian is already garnering much attention (and creating a blogstorm?) because he may be the first law student seeking to earn academic credit for blogging.

February 5, 2006 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Thursday, January 19, 2006

On law reviews, blogs and scholarly diversity

Though not about sentencing, I am intrigued by the discussion kicked off by Rosa Brooks at LawCulture through this post about the inadequacies of law reviews and the future of legal scholarship.  Many others have already weighed in response (here and here and here), and Paul Horowitz's post "Scholarly Writing For...Whom?" is especially thought provoking.   In addition, Dan Solove has jumped in with an engaging entry over at Concurring Opinions that asks "Does Scholarly Writing Have to Be Tedious?"

I am intrigued by this dialogue in part because I am in the midst of developing a (non-tedious?) piece about the potential of blogs as a medium for legal scholarship.  (This piece hopes to build on some of the themes developed in my posts here and here exploring how blogs might be improved as an academic medium.)   Consequently, I especially like that Orin Kerr has this reaction to concerns about tedious legal scholarship: "Maybe the answer is more lawprof bloggers. Blogging pushes you to write clearly and simply; the format rewards clarity of expression more than traditional law review articles do."

Here I want to spotlight the concept and value of diversity in considering these issues.  I have the good fortune to edit two peer-review journals — the Federal Sentencing Reporter and the Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law — which, through their distinctive structures, address in different ways some of the problems with traditional law reviews noted in this blogospheric dialogue.  New technologies make it cheaper and more efficient to experiment with distinctive fora for scholarly expressions (consider, e.g., SSRN which is also now, as seen here and here and here, generating blog debate).  In my view, the legal academic community ought to continue to explore and embrace new forms of traditional scholarly fora (like different kinds of law journals) and also radical new scholarly fora (like blogs).

Moreover, my own experience with this blog and other forms of scholarship leads me to believe that there cannot and should not be one-size-fits-all answers to the issues and questions being raised.  For some topics at some moments, the traditional law review form may be ideal.  See, e.g., the OSJCL's recent symposium issue reflecting on the Warren Court's Criminal Justice Revolution.  For other topics at some moments, a tweaked law review form may be ideal.  See, e.g., the Stanford Law Review's recent sentencing reform issue.  For still other topics, a whole new model may be appropriate.  See, e.g., the always timely issues considered at Legal Affairs' Debate Club.

UPDATE: Rosa Brooks has followed up with this interesting addition to all the law review/scholarship buzzing.

ANOTHER UPDATE: I am intrigued and pleased to now see that Ann Althouse has jumped into this discussion with this post entitled "Blogging as an alternative to law reviews -- and as a model for them."  It appears as though Ann's views have evolved somewhat since last August when she seemed to scoff at my exploration of how we might improve blogs as an academic medium.

January 19, 2006 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (65) | TrackBack

Monday, December 26, 2005

I want to thank the academy, Themis, and...

I am flattered to discover that, over at the Blawg Review Awards 2005, I have been honored with an award for "Best Blawg by a Law Professor."  (Apparently, I am far more appreciated by Themis, the Goddess of Justice and Law who judged and decided these awards, than by the voters in the 2005 Weblog Awards for Best Law Blog.)

Of course, I am biased when I now say that folks behind the Blawg Review Awards 2005 are obvious geniuses.  Biased or not, I think the list of award-winning blawgs makes for a terrific reading list for the modern lawyer.  But it also revives my interested in creating some kind of BCS for blogs.

December 26, 2005 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

Monday, December 05, 2005

A BCS for blogs?

Thanks to this post at Law Dork, I see that I have the honor of being in great company as a nominee in the 2005 Weblog Awards for Best Law Blog.  As the cliche goes, it is an honor just to be nominated.  But even more fun is nit-picking notable aspects of (and omissions from) the list of 15 nominees.

Of course, I am very proud that Law Dork (an OSU law alum) apparently has the distinction of being the youngest nominee, and also that, with the inclusion of TaxProf Blog, two members of the Law Professors Blog Network made the grade.  But Chris notes the interesting righty slant of the slate of nominees, and I also see some questionable selections.  BeldarBlog, which has been quiet for nearly two months now, garners a nomination, while all the great work recently at blogs like Concurring Opinions and Crime & Federalism and PrawfsBlawg goes unrecognized.

Seems to me we need some new nomination metric which incorporates factors like regularity of posts.  Then again, if some sort of BCS system for blogs were to include a measure of total output, Howard Bashman at How Appealing would blow us all away.

December 5, 2005 in On blogging | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack