August 27, 2006

He's reached his goal (and become the devil?).

So Anthony Rickey signs off. Scroll down for advice to law student bloggers and some links to new 1L blogs.

Are you an incoming 1L? Are you going to blog? Are you or have you been a law student blogger? Do you read law student blogs? What do you think of the whole project of law student blogging? Is there always new material, or has the law student story been told?

Sorry for all the questions to law students, but that is my job, you know.

13 comments:

Jeanne said...

Well, you are a law prof...

I'm a law student, but just started my 2L year. Not nearly as much angst so far this semester as there was last year.

Everyone experiences law school differently, and every school is different. The law is also always changing, so I don't think that law student blogs are done. But maybe that's because I'm still writing one. I am *so* last semester...

Lincoln said...

I'm a "pre-law" student who will be starting law school next year, and recently started a blog that I plan to maintain during my years in school as well. Only instead of 3 years of hell, for me it'll be 4. :)

Right now I'm trying to find an online community of conservatives who are also law students, attorneys and/or professors. Oy, it's like finding a needle in a haystack. It's a small miracle I even found this blog. BTW, if you know of any message boards dedicated for conservative law school students that I can check out, please let me know!

Lindsey said...

I'm a 2L and for the past couple of years I've been periodically scanning various student blogs. I find for the most part that the ones that focus only on being in law school are pretty much the same. They comment on the types of students, on things professors said, interview stories, etc. I think it's gotten a little old, but if you are a IL and didn't read these blogs before starting law school, they're probably entertaining.

Daryl Herbert said...

I've noticed a big disparity between what professors say and what other law students say: Students warn against being a "gunner"--someone who speaks too often, characterized by the excitedly raised hand, as if they're trying to shoot down some enemy aircraft--whereas all of my professors have extolled the virtues of talk talk talk talk talk in class.

I'd be interested to know your thoughts on this, Ann.

Lincoln: the Federalist Society is a right-wing law student/lawyer organization. I'm not really interested in joining up, because 1) I'm not really interested in domestic politics 2) I'm not really, domestically, that right wing (I'm an undomesticated right-wing Zionist neocon) and 3) the commies at National Lawyers Guild will hate you for it, I don't want nobody to hate me (at least, at this point).

There are more conservative law students than you might expect. In fact, the most common stereotype of a law student is a conservative nerd!

Ann Althouse said...

Daryl Herbert said..."I've noticed a big disparity between what professors say and what other law students say: Students warn against being a "gunner"--someone who speaks too often, characterized by the excitedly raised hand, as if they're trying to shoot down some enemy aircraft--whereas all of my professors have extolled the virtues of talk talk talk talk talk in class. I'd be interested to know your thoughts on this, Ann."

Isn't it obvious? The professor wants a good discussion with a lot of students participating. Like you, we don't want the same student over and over, but you students who don't want to be like that are the cause of it being like that! There should be a widely shared sense of responsibility for classroom discussion, not an immature conformity and disapproval of the gunner. You want the professor to solve the problem for you? The only way to do that is either to lecture all the time or to impose a system of required participation by calling on you involuntarily and making it count for part of the grade. So those are 3 possibilities. Which is your preference? And if you say lecture, don't turn around and complain that the class was too hard (because the teacher was able to load much more material into the class and you had trouble keeping up because you became passive and didn't pay enough attention).

Lincoln said...

Daryl, I know about the Federalist Society, but they don't have a message board or *gasp* even a blog, which makes me think they're antiquated and need to get with the times. :)

I know there are right-leaning law students out there but finding a community of them is about as easy as trying to find the lost ark. Of the law forums I've participated in so far, I ended up being the only conservative, and the experience was rather unpleasant and nauseating. It would be nice to have an intelligent discourse on the law without being told "Bush is Hitler" in response, ad infinitum.

Lincoln said...

Daryl,

If there's a disparity, it might be because students (other than the gunner) have realized that policy discussions in classes are almost a complete waste of time, while some professors I suspect continue to promote it so they don't have to invest as much time into teaching the subject as they otherwise would if they did straight up lectures.

Ann Althouse said...

Lincoln: Speaking in a law school class isn't all policy discussion. I agree that having the students air their policy views isn't usually going to be very useful. Most of the discussion in my class has to do with understanding and analyzing the case and its permutations.

Lincoln said...

Professor,

I'm definitely glad to hear that, as playing with hypos (as opposed to policy discussions) would be a GREAT use of class time. Analyzing cases by adding a twist to a fact pattern is what I think helps students learn how to perform a lawyerlike analysis, which is why I don't understand why some professors get so caught up in doing policy discussions instead, to the chagrin of many a disgruntled law school student.

Medopine said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Medopine said...

The only law student blogs I read frequently are Barely Legal and ones I know are authored by fellow students at my school. I have my own "law student" blog but I'm pretty sure only about five people actually read it.

Not sure what to do to make the law student blog more entertaining. I think the story has been told.


A true gunner wastes everyone's time by expanding hypos into territory that the class isn't even about, arguing about tiny points of law that aren't relevant, getting the prof's brain off track, etc. They hinder more than they help. I prefer that the prof call on people and make them talk instead of letting the same few people volunteer each class and lead us off to "not going to be on the test" ville. Yep. I can't believe I'm saying I actually prefer the Socratic method, haha.

The point is, eager students who ask good questions or a lot of questions aren't exactly "gunners" by default.

Jason Martell said...

Lincoln said: I know about the Federalist Society, but they don't have a message board or *gasp* even a blog, which makes me think they're antiquated and need to get with the times.

No, but we do have a plain old website (www.fed-soc.org). Most of the Fed-Soc's idea exchanging happens live at our debates, but a fair number of the individual student chapters do have blogs. Silver fox is right though, we don't get a lot of readers, but they can be a fun way to work on your writing and discuss issues with other students. You mention looking for an online community of conservatives that includes students, academics, and practitioners. The best you can probably hope for is an academic blog's (like the Volokh Conspiracy) comment sections, because some of the commenters get so into the discussions (for better, or more often, worse) in the comments that they imagine themselves as part of the blog. Some of the comment sections do tend to get just a tad snarky (Althouse comments seem to stay a bit more friendly). Oh, and you aren't likely to find political/ideological/philosophical homogeneity or anything like it anywhere worth reading, but really, its better that way. In case you haven't been searching for very long, this site: http://3lepiphany.typepad.com/ has a inventory of legal blogs (though generally not student blogs), while http://krhunt.blogspot.com/2006/03/law-student-blogger-directory.html has a big list of student blogs organized by school.

As to the topic of the original post, there are a couple different types of law student blogs.
The "my life sucks out loud because law school is hard" and "OMG! I'm so smart/important!" variety are, well, pretty much boring or depressing or both. but hey, whatever gets you through the first year, right? Blogs on life as a law student CAN be interesting (like Law & Alcoholism) if the writer is talented and doesn't fall into these traps, but that's rare.
The other type of law student blogger tends to write about the same stuff you do (well, not American Idol), which must be the mid-20's (overgeneralizing, I know) equivalent of playing house or dress-up. And I mean that in a good way.

Lincoln said...

Jason, thanks for the suggestions. I go to Volokh once in a while but for some reason it can never seem to hold my attention for very long (probably has something to do with the butt ugly design of the site). :-X