September 7, 2006

Blogging lawprofs score Yale Law Journal publication.

Yale Law Journal's on-line version, The Pocket Part, has a set of essays -- grandly titled "The Future of Legal Scholarship" -- on the topic of how the internet will change law journals. My contribution is called "Let the Law Journal Be the Law Journal and the Blog Be the Blog." I come out as a big traditionalist, not just about law journals, but also about blogging.

What do the others talk about? In "That’s So Six Months Ago: Challenges to Student Scholarship in the Age of Blogging Essay,", Stephen I. Vladeck (of Prawfsblawg) focuses on law student writing. "A Blog Supreme?" by Christopher A. Bracey (of Blackprof), finds an analogy to jazz. Jack Balkin's contribution is "Online Legal Scholarship: The Medium and the Message." He talks about "routing around" on the internet, and on first skim, I thought they'd made a terrible editing error. But he's talking about the way the internet "routes around traditional media gatekeepers and ... gloms onto existing cultural sources, appropriating them for its own purposes rather than displacing them." Eugene Volokh, in "Law Reviews, the Internet, and Preventing and Correcting Errors," offers some practical suggestions for taking advantage of the internet to improve scholarship.

This is the linkiest post I've done in a while -- maybe ever. By contrast, The Pocket Part essays look like they have links, but the highlighted text just triggers a pop-up with a footnote, often containing a URL -- and you'll have to copy and paste it into the address bar if you want to go there. [CORRECTION: I'm wrong, sorry. If you point at the link, you get a pop-up window that shows the footnote with web locations as written-out URLs, but if you click on it, it is a hyperlink. Why didn't I notice that? Something about the way the window popped up made me think that was all that would happen.]

ADDED: Archaeoblog likes my blog/scholarship separationism.


Steven Shepard said...

Prof. Althouse,

Thank you again for contributing to the Pocket Part. The links should all now work, except for -- unfortunately -- the very first, to Paul Caron's work, which will be posted later today. Thanks,
Steven Shepard

sparky said...

Although I think I understand the distinction you want to make, I'm not sure that I agree, for two reasons. First, a rough analogy for the tradition point:
"It is revolting to have no better reason for a rule of law than that so it was laid down in the time of Henry IV. It is still more revolting if the grounds upon which it was laid down have vanished long since, and the rule simply persists from blind imitation of the past."
O.W. Holmes, Jr.

Second, much legal scholarship is evanescent. This point is made in the piece on the student note.

I am not suggesting that all legal commentary be in the form of blogging, or that law journals are a waste of time. But policing the boundaries looks like an exercise in elevating form over substance.