Saturday, January 31, 2009

To Everything there is a Season

Obviously it has been a while since I have posted on this blog. Why is that? I suppose it is because I have accomplished much of what I wanted to with Law Career Blog as a solo blog. I felt I had important things to say on teaching and classroom etiquette; on law career decisions; on law firm practice; on mentoring, and more. And I have said many of them, so there you have it.

I am very pleased, though, that my posts continue to draw strong traffic month after month, year after year. What I have said here remains relevant, I think--but that does not mean I need to always rehash the same ground, all in the name of having new posts just for the sake of it.

So for now, my existing posts stand for what they are, and I am proud of them. Call me the Antiblogger, I suppose: I am blogging by not blogging.

In any event, the following is a list of posts that have generated the most interest from readers, some posts on subjects I think are particularly important, and some that are just fun. Enjoy!

Posts on Law School in General:

In a series of posts, I argued that if we want law schools to truly provide the academic and practical education that students (and employers) expect and demand, we should consider adding a fourth year to the law school curriculum. Not surprisingly, my proposal was universally condemned. Check out the comments.

See Is the Third Year of Law School a Waste of Time and Money? and Is Law School Itself a Waste of Time?

I think that too often, law students don't step back and think about law school and their future careers in a broader perspective. That's understandable given the workload in law school, but it's still unfortunate. My friend and colleague Gene Theroux visited Mississippi College School of Law once to speak to students about his storied career--he opened the first western law firm offices in China and the Soviet Union--and he had wonderful advice for them. Ostensibly the talk was about globalization, but the heart of his message was to follow your heart and practice law the right way and for the right reasons. Sometimes we need to put our cynicism aside and hear things like what he said that day.

See Theroux Part Deux

Posts on LL.M. Degrees:

This trilogy of posts is perhaps the most popular series of posts on this blog--which proves that good things really do come in threes. Lots of discussion in the comments. See The Pros and Cons of LL.M.s, LL.M. Redux and LL.M.s Part 3.

Posts on Law School Exams, Teaching, and Class Strategies

Bainbridge v. Bowman. I wrote a law review article entitled The Comparative and Absolute Advantages of Junior Law Faculty: Implications for Teaching and the Future of American Law Schools--a piece I am quite proud of. In it, I use traditional neoclassical trade theory to analyze the advantages of junior and senior law faculty and make some recommendations regarding law school teaching. Professor Stephen Bainbridge of UCLA saw it, and he absolutely hated it. This posts includes our dialogue.

How to Improve your Law School Exams Grades. This wasn't a terribly controversial post--or so I thought until I received scathing comments two years after I posted it. Some fun back and forth on that one. Maybe I should've retitled the post Bowman v. Someone Very Angry.

Law School Orientation Advice. Pretty self-explanatory. My own favorite piece of advice: Don't spill a plate of food on your law school dean at the welcome reception. I actually did that--but lucky for me, I still graduated.

Computer-Free Week and Computer-Free Week, Part 2. There is a good deal of concern in the legal academy about computer use in the classroom. Is it beneficial? Is it harmful or disruptive? So one time I asked students not to use computers for one week to see what would happen. The results were pretty interesting, and as a teacher I found the feedback via the comments very useful. Perhaps the most interesting result was that student comments revealed just how prevalent the consumer mentality is among students--namely, I paid my tuition, so I can do what I want in class.

The Dilbertic Method. I definitely like this post about parallels between Dilbert's boss and the Socratic method. If you want to see the Dilbert cartoon I am talking about, you have to click the link in the article and then enter in the cartoon's run date on the Dilbert site.

Posts on Law Firms:

Much of the attraction to, and frustration with, big law firms has to do with the money they pay their associates. So I wrote some pieces on that subject--something I have firsthand knowledge about.

See Of Law Firm Culture and Compensation Schemes, The Problem of Law Firm Salary Distributions, and Big Firm Economics 101.

In another post, I wrote about associate pay and stress levels. In light of the recent savage downturn in the employment market, this post is perhaps more relevant than ever. See Why Associates Have More Stress than Partners.

On Interview and Job Strategies and Techniques

Job Interview Do's and Don't's. The name of the post says it all.

What NOT to do as a Summer Associate. You'd be surprised what some people do. Don't be one of them.

Posts on Movies:

Finally, I have had some fun with movies on this blog, and for some reason they were always movies starring George Clooney. First, I blogged about Syriana--see Syriana Misrepresents International Lawyers.

Then I wrote a whole slew of posts on Michael Clayton--a movie that had a lot to say about what it is (and is not) like to be a lawyer. I was interviewed by the Chicago Tribune about the Michael Clayton series of posts. See the following (not too originally entitled) posts:

Clooney v. Clayton, which is my review of the movie

Clooney v. Clayton, Part 2, about hyperbole in legal dramas

Clooney v. Clayton, Part 3, on whether there is such a thing as a law firm "fixer"

Clooney v. Clayton, Part 4, on the perverse incentive/reward structure of law practice

Clooney v. Clayton, Part 5, on how law practice affects your family life

Clooney v. Clayton, Part 6, regarding legal ethics

Clooney v. Clayton--Again, regarding my Chicago Tribune Interview

* * * *
So for now, that is where things stand. I hope you enjoy reading these posts as much as I enjoyed writing them.

1 comment:

Nobody said...

Professor Bowman, it has been too long since you posted. But I never blog either. Glad to see such a content-rich post for us to enjoy! In other news... May 15 is coming for us MCSOL 3Ls, and it couldn't get here any sooner. I'm sure you're just as excited as we are.