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« Unregulating Online Harassment | Main | Part Four: Content Matters: Evaluating Blogs and Online Supplements as Scholarship »

Part Five: Law Blogs, Law Journals and the Law Student

This concludes the five-part series on Legal Scholarship in the Internet Age.  Joe Aguilar is a third year law student at the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law.  He is a Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Race to the Bottom, the first ever faculty-student law blog.

By Joe Aguilar

The advent and proliferation of the legal blog is unquestionably altering the way legal scholarship operates.  It has attracted the attention of scholars such as Richard Posner and Stephen Bainbridge.  This outlet allows them a voice on issues that develop at speeds too quick for the printed world.  However, one critical segment of the legal educational world is often forgotten in the discussion of how blogs change legal scholarship: the law student. 

The student can utilize a blog to enhance his or her education in as many ways as a professor can use a blog to test new legal theories or opine on current legal issues.  As a Co-Editor-In-Chief of The Race to the Bottom, I believe that the faculty-student law blog can be a unique learning tool within the law school experience. 

First, I would like to state that a law student blog need not follow the path that The Race to the Bottom has chosen, as we are but one example of how to organize a blog.  In many aspects our blog mimics traditional journals.  Our contributors still answer to editors which critique and modify their written products.  The editors redline and double-check substantive content in ways similar to a standard journal. 

The blog experience differs from the traditional journal experience, however, because there is a guarantee of published legal writing for every student contributor.  Most legal journals will publish a small fraction of the students who make up their staff.  Our format allows each student to write between three and four published posts per semester.  Since all posts are cataloged on the blog, not only does the blog diversify a student’s legal resume, but it gives an employer easy access to written published material by which to evaluate a student.  

The faculty-student blog also allows the law student opportunities to write on multiple issues and on multiple levels throughout their law school career.  Unlike the thirty page case note, the student contributor to The Race to the Bottom will cover three or more developing corporate governance or securities issues per semester.  Additionally, the flexible blog style allows students to write at different levels based on their writing and understanding of the subject matter.  While most students will start by writing case briefs that summarize cases into blog-length snippets, many students move on to analytical legal writing on issues that develop on a daily basis.  As they take on these more difficult assignments, opportunities arise for faculty critique of their work.  Given our smaller staff size as compared to a law journal, Professor Jay Brown, who oversees and is the voice of The Race to the Bottom, works with students to develop the legal theories and applications within their posts.

As an editor, the experience at The Race to the Bottom allows me flexibility in covering different topic areas while also demanding a watchful eye on the world of corporate governance.  I am unsure how this may differ from my counterpart at a law journal, but I believe the blog allows for a flexible management style with opportunities to leave a personal touch on the organization.

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    In this blog we can read about fifth part of law journals, law blogs and law students. So readers should pay attention towards this article and share this information with others as well who could not visit this site.
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