June 13, 2005

All those lawprof bloggers.

PrawfsBlog is trying to list all the lawprof bloggers. They've only got two of us from Wisconsin, so they've missed three of us. With five, we'd be second only to San Diego for most lawprof blogs. But since they've probably missed a lot of others, I suspect we're not really second.

They've counted 103 lawprof blogs and only 20 of them are written by women. Well, two of ours they didn't count are written by women. Maybe our other female bloggers don't want to be on a list like this. They don't write about law. I'll leave it to them to email PrawfsBlog if they want the attention.

There are so many reasons why lawproffing and blogging go together. It's actually amazing there aren't a thousand of us.


Daniel J. Solove said...

You mentioned three blogs we missed. Please let us know about them if you can, as we'd very much like to have the most accurate and complete data. But if you believe that the blog authors would prefer their blogs not be listed, we understand.

Ann Althouse said...

Daniel: They'll write to you if they want to be listed. They aren't really writing about law like Gordon and me. Do you want to collect lawprofs who write about their personal life, their travels, and their interest in popular culture?

Daniel J. Solove said...

I didn't really think about this issue. I probably would not want to list totally non-law blogs, although in making the list, I did not attempt to measure a blog's law quotient, as many blawgs have posts about a variety of topics, not just law. But I would probably not list a blog that has little or nothing of relevance to the law.

The most difficult case is a blog by a law prof that deals with academic issues, just not law. I think I might include it because of the interdisciplinary nature of the law. But I don't think that I should list a purely non-academic blog. Does this sound like a reasonable policy?

Bruce Hayden said...

Starting out facetiously, maybe this is because they (you) have too much time on your hands.

That said, I like law prof blogs. Of the five blogs that are in my startup folder, three (this one, Instapundit, and Volokh) are by law profs. And the later, of course, is a joint blog. One other, Power Line, is by practicing lawyers.

I would suggest that lawyers make good bloggers for a couple of reasons. First, they are, by nature, and by necessity, articulate (with, probably some exceptions - but I have the excuse of being a patent attorney, which means I am also an engineer). Secondly, law teaches you the skills necessary for critical analysis. You want to dissect an article from the opposition? Have a lawyer do it. As a class, no one is going to do it better.

As to why law profs are probably more prolific than others legally trained, the time issue is probably relevant. The actual practice of law can be extremely time consuming, esp. for the younger lawyers. But even older ones, feeling the heat from the younger ones, have to put in the long hours too. I've seen firms with 2,300 billing our requirements. That is 46 hours a week, before you get to such nonbillables as client development, CLE, and just having to write off hours because you were inefficient.

So, potentially, on a per capita basis, you see a lot more law profs than lawyers because the professors have the oppertunity to blog, and most attorneys are too time pressured, and thus don't.

Of course, law professors are probably at the higher end of the IQ scale as far as lawyers (or, indeed, the general populace) goes. Maybe not as much higher as some law professors might believe, but still notably higher. And IQ often translates into intellectual curiousity.

Now, though, Ann has to figure out why this tends to be male law profs much more than female. Partly, this may be because the males are more likely to be tenured, as they have been around longer (on average). But the discrepancy may be big enough that this does not fully explain the situation.

Ann Althouse said...

Daniel: The people I'm thinking of write about the life of a lawprof but rarely or never discuss legal issues. Note that your line-drawing may have a big effect on the proportion of women on the list!

Daniel J. Solove said...

Blogs about the life of the law prof should be listed, I think, so long as they relate to being a law prof. I would exclude blogs that just deal with life in general (without connections to being a law prof). So, for example, if I had a blog devoted exclusively to one of my hobbies or to my travels, I don't think it should be listed. But if I blogged about my experiences as a law prof, issues about balacing family life with an academic career, etc., then I would include it.

Yogo said...

The line drawing is peculiar. Usually it serves to exclude. I've experienced this in certain black professional organizations. They want you to be black, but only a certain kind of black. That's what is going on here. I love Nina's blog about her travels and food. I love the idea of a lawprof being a chef in her spare time. A chef! Fantastic! Or what about Gordon's remarks about cheese? I love it! I'm looking for the lawprofs blog about wine next. I'm sure one is out there.

Ann Althouse said...

Nappy: I agree with you. But there's a sizable faction within lawprofbloggerdom that is trying to get us to specialize. I'm so against that!

Yogo said...

I find a large amount of humor in a lawprof's (or lawyer's) take on, for instance, the steroid mess in pro baseball. I could read a lawprofs blog about sports.

The line drawing creates a hierarchy of sorts. Who gets the most hits, what area of the law is more important, published articles, law school ranking...it never ends.

Daniel J. Solove said...

Nappy: So are you suggesting we list all blogs that happen to be by law profs, even though they have no relationship whatsoever to the law or legal academia?

And by the way, law prof Stephen Bainbridge has a blog about wine: http://www.professorbainbridgeonwine.com/

I don't think that it is appropriate to list this wine blog. It might be a great and interesting blog, but there's gotta be some limiting factor. Or else why limit it to law profs? Why not all lawyers? All law students? One must draw lines, and hence, one must always exclude. That doesn't mean that the excluded blogs are bad or that they are uninteresting. It just means that any listing must have some principles for inclusion or exclusion. You may quarrel with my limits, but others may think we are both being too elitist in only focusing on law profs. There are plenty of other interesting people out there beyond law profs, and I'm sure plenty of others who can talk interestingly about food or wine or travel. Isn't focusing on law profs creating a hierarchy of sorts? The problem is that no matter how you focus or cut the pie, folks will be excluded, lines will be drawn. Your objection can be applied to any kind of line drawing at all.

Ann: I agree about resisting the trend toward specializing. I like a blog that has a good mix of issues, including some about pop culture and other interests. I even posted about Star Wars. Going back to Nappy's objection, I think it's fine to post about all these things, and I'd still include the blog in the census so long as there are at least a significant number of posts relating to the law or the life of law profs.