Monday, April 2, 2012

Playing to One's Strengths

[For reasons discussed below, my good friend Andy Morriss is taking emeritus status on the Legal Whiteboard.  Nonetheless, as noted in post #1, he will always remain a deep source of inspiration, at least for me.  Below is Andy's final LWB post as a regular co-editor.  wdh.]

As an economist, I think comparative advantage is a critically important concept for understanding the world. After trying this format for a bit, I've figured out it isn't mine - so I'm signing off and leaving this to Bill and Jeff. Both are writing thoughtful and thought-provoking stuff.  That requires time and effort. Both are (or appear to be) naturals at this format, so perhaps it is easier than it looks for them to do that. But it still represents a major commitment to do well.

It became clear that this wasn't for me recently for two reasons. First, there are interesting folks doing important work in this area - I just spent time at a conference this weekend with John McGinnis of Northwestern, whose WSJ op-ed with Russell Manges, is one of the more significant pieces on reforming legal education. After having some interesting discussions with John - and a fascinating weekend digging into Harold Berman's Law and Revolution II which itself raises some quite important questions about legal education's content and the impact of that content on a lot of things -  I find I am more interested in finding out what people like John think about legal education than writing about it and more interested in thinking about how the ideas in Berman's work ought to affect my teaching than writing about that.

Second, looking at Bill's and Jeff's excellent posts made me realize how tentative my own thoughts on the subject are. Which leads me to the realization that I simply don't have enough interesting to say to say it to the world. 

So I discovered that blogging about legal education is neither my strength or my interest. Given the opportunity to spend time writing a blog post or to read something related to my teaching and research interests, I find I'd rather do the latter. If it seems like a chore, it is pretty clear it is not for me. 

There are some really great law professor bloggers. Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit is truly indispensible; the Volokh Conspiracy (esp. my former CWRU colleague Jonathan Adler) has set the bar high for substantive law blogging; Paul Caron is called the Blogfather for good reason; the late Larry Ribstein wrote blog posts more substantial than most law review articles, and there are quite a few more. I suspect Bill and Jeff will make this an interesting place as well as our industry changes. All of these folks are really good at this format. This experience helped me figure out that I'm not. That's valuable knowledge! Thanks to Bill for his kind words at the start of this; good luck to both Bill and Jeff as they move forward.

[posted by Andy Morriss, signing off and taking emeritus status]

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