Monday, July 30, 2007
Jay Brown's Blogs, Law Schools Rankings, and the Race to the Bottom is up on ssrn. This is both an insightful commentary on the role of blogs in legal scholarship and the mechanics of blogging. I think the paper will generate some talk. Professor Brown's abstract reads:
Blogs are changing legal scholarship.
Although not a substitute for the detailed, often intricately
researched analysis contained in law reviews and other scholarly
publications, they fill an important gap in the scholarly continuum.
Blog posts can generate ideas and discussion that can be transformed
into more a systematic and thorough paper or scholarly article. At the
same time, blogs provide a forum for testing ideas once they are
published in more traditional venues.
While over time, a blog presence will likely become de rigueur for top scholars and law reviews, top tier schools as a group have not yet targeted blogs as a necessary component of scholarly activity. In the short term, therefore, blogs provide unique opportunities for faculty and law schools outside the top tier to enhance their reputational rankings. Blogs can enhance reputation by allowing faculty to route around some of the biases in law review placements and SSRN rankings that favor those at the top tier schools. Blogs also represent a cost effective mechanism for advertising scholarly activity.
The paper discusses the evidence that blogs enhance reputation and surveys the way that scholars at law schools outside the top tier are already harnessing blogs to enhance their reputations. The paper also discusses what it takes to create a successful blog, from the search for content to the benefits of advertising. The paper finishes with a brief history of The Race to the Bottom, a corporate governance blog.
Alfred L. Brophy
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