Sunday, January 3, 2010

More about the influence of blogs on judicial decision-making

We'd previously blogged about lawyers attempting to influence the outcome of a case by blogging about it.  Now comes this post from the blog suggesting that the under-40 demographics of most law clerks means they are more likely to read and rely on blogs when drafting opinions for their bosses.  Thus, blogs may come to play a larger role in influencing the outcome of cases:

First, some of the growing influence of law blogs can be put squarely at the door of demographics.  As a practical matter, those below 40 (which this author is not) are more likely to use the Internet to conduct legal research and search for information. 

Second, given this demographic reality, it would be important to know where younger lawyes [sic]have a disproportionate impact on shaping the law.  They are not, on the whole, managing partners at large law firms, general counsels at Fortune 500 companies, or judges sitting on the state or federal bench. 

They are, however, lawclerks to judges.  Despite the existence of permanent clerks and lawclerks who have already practiced, most still come directly from law school.  Lawclerks are likely to be younger and more technologically proficient than the bar as a whole.

They can, as a result, be counted on with some frequency to read law blogs that comment on cases under consideration within their respective chambers.  (The likelihood will no doubt vary depending upon the particular court considering the case, the public profile of the case, and the case's legal complexity).  As they research these cases, either to prepare their judges for oral argument or to draft opinions afterwards, they are likely to want to consider any erudite commentary that sheds light on these cases.

Blogs that focus on cases, therefore, can have an impact on ongoing litigation, even if in a sub silentio fashion.

You can read the rest here.

Hat tip to Brian Leiter's Law School Reports.

I am the scholarship dude (and this is almost certainly the first time in history "dude" and "Brian Leiter" have come within 100 characters of each other).


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