As the first Articles Editor of the FIU Law Review to be featured on this blog, I think it is best to spend some time on the benefits of blogging about the law. Relatively recently, law blogs have become a popular source of news and legal analysis. Even justices on the Supreme Court find blogs helpful. Blogs like SCOTUSblog, The Volokh Conspiracy, How Appealing, and PrawfsBlog provide short, accessible commentary on a wide variety of legal issues and are written by prominent scholars and attorneys. No doubt, the FIU Law Review will be another forum for the expression of valuable commentary. But I want to do more than just predict this blog’s success; allow me to discuss the virtues of law blogging.
A blog post is generally short. Being brief is, I think, the medium’s most positive quality. Because a blog is short, it can be written quickly, meaning one can write commentary about something happening right now and people will have a chance to read it. A good example of this is Professor Howard Wasserman’s recent blogging on PrawfsBlog about the use of video in relation to the events of Ferguson, Missouri and the Ray Rice scandal. These posts invite immediate response from other scholars and attorneys, thus producing a public discussion on important legal issues.
Also, because a blog is short, it invites reading. For good or ill, I am part of a generation that likes being told something in 140 characters and whose mantra is “ain’t nobody got time for that.” In other words, a blog’s brevity permits the effective spread of ideas. If one is interested in an idea found in a blog, then one can seek out and read more detailed sources such as a law review. But the idea would not have caught on at all had it not been said briefly in the first place.
More so than just brevity, the conventions of a blog promote readability. They are oftentimes informal and directed towards a lay audience. This allows those unfamiliar with an area of law to gain insight into a legal development or doctrine. This quality is particularly important because the other major source of information about the law for the layman, the television, grossly misreports and misrepresents legal issues.
So aside from just extoling the virtues of the blog as a medium, I write, in part to encourage readers to watch this space. The blog as a means of scholarship and expression is a valuable source of information and a means to keep abreast of legal ideas and development. No doubt, my fellow editors will promote understanding and interest in a variety of legal fields through their thoughtful and insightful contributions.