Sunday, September 16, 2007

A Few Law Student Blogs

The new law school academic year has been in swing for several weeks now, and that means (at least in my own estimation) that it is time to report on law student blogs.

Law student blogs are a double-edged sword. On the one hand, they are great fun, and can offer wonderful insight into the modern student mind. I just finished writing a law review article that centers on the subject of law professor "fade" or obsolesence, and a large part of that fade is due to disconnects (often generational, but not always) between profs and students. (Watch for a separate post about my article soon.) So student blogs are great, in that they shine light into the gap between students and profs.

But student blogs are also problematic. First, it's always dangerous to reason from the specific (a student blog) to the general (all students)--although perhaps less dangerous than not seeking any insight into the student mind. Second, blogs are like lawyers: there are too many of them, but never enough good ones. Student blogs are no exception (and neither are law prof blogs, I suppose). Too many student blogs end up being either exercises in venting or posturing, or blogs with no posts.

But there are some gems. I always enjoy reading Shelley's Case, and Shelley has reciprocated with some of the best comments on my blog. CALI's Pre-Law Blog does a good job of providing student-oriented advice. The Frugal Law Student has one of the best schticks on the web, in my opinion--the blog is basically about ways Mr. Frugal Law Student is trying to "mitigate [his] crippling law school debt" by doing things like freezing his credit cards in ice. One post concerns how to save money by not washing your clothes. These days the blog is visually very slick, but I miss the old look: it used to look like a preformatted blog, but with a little graph at the top showing his current negative net worth. The whole idea of a prefab blog design fit pretty well with the idea of a frugal law student. The new format looks like he paid someone (which he says he didn't), or spent time designing his blog that would have been better spent freezing his money. But you can't stop progress, I suppose.

There are a few others worth mentioning, including these:

T Sinister. T Sinister (a left-handed fellow named Trevor) is a student at Harvard Law School, and his posts are usually quite good. He strives for funny, and often gets there, but sometimes he is serious too, perhaps somewhat by accident. A good recent post is "What I Wish I Had Known About Law School At The Start of My 1L Year." It's excellent advice.

Luis Villa's Blog. Not exactly the most original name for a blog, but he gets points for truth in adverstising, I suppose. He has a very good recent post about blogging and how to deal with it when interviewing for law jobs.

The Legal Scoop. There's a bit of everything here, as one might expect from a group blog. But that's a good thing. A good recent post is "Typing Your Way to an 'A,' " which discusses the importance of typing to law school success. I'd add that a long exam answer is no guarantee of a good answer if you do not know what you are doing, but it may help avoid a complete meltdown if you can at least randomly hit important points. If you know what you are doing, however, being able to flesh out your answer in great detail certainly does help.

Some new blogs are bound to crop up as the school year progresses, and I will try to keep an eye out for them.


Luis Villa said...

For what it is worth, my blog used to have a more "original" name, but frankly, no one remembers the names- they want to read your blog, or they want to read about your topic. Since that is what they search for (instead of the cute nickname) I figured it was better to just go with the flow and help Google out. It has worked- if you google for 'luis' I'm usually on the first page and sometimes the top result. That was never the case when I had a cute blog name.

[And thanks for the shout-out; glad someone found the post interesting/relevant!]

Austin said...

Hi Prof. Bowman. Thanks again for linking the Pre-Law Blog. I posted my take on the typing issue discussed over at Legal Scoop that you mention.

Here's the link.

Thanks again!

Gregory W. Bowman said...

Luis, that's an interesting point. So you get points for both truth and effectiveness in advertising, I suppose.

Rechtsanwalt said...

I agree that the student blogs can be good and problematic at the same time. The students put their blogs for venting and time pass and having no posts there. But not all blogs go waste, there are some good as yu mentioned here.

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