Thursday, August 24, 2006

Lawyers Online

Will blogging revolutionize the practice of law? Nah. To explain that curmugeonly view, I recently wrote a very short paper, "The Impact of Blogging on the Practice of Law: Hit the Snooze Button," 11 Nexus 75 (2006). I invite you to download a PDF of it. Here's the abstract:

To forecast how blogging will impact the practice of law, we need to consider how some similar, equally revolutionary technology has impacted attorneys. I nominate the clock radio. Given that example, you might suppose that I don't think blogging will radically change the practice of law. Correct. Blogging has many virtues. It offers a largely harmless outlet for extroverted cranks and cheap entertainment for procrastinating office workers. Blogging even stands to do some very real good. I have nothing against blogging; I blog, myself. I simply don't think it will change the practice of law very much. Why not? First, because blogs seldom offer the sort of detailed and applied legal analysis that a careful attorney must perform. Second, because an attorney would find it next to impossible to practice law via a blog without violating several rules of professional responsibility. I thus conclude that neither reading nor writing blogs will have a significant influence on the practice the law.


Glen Whitman said...

Is it possible blogging will create a venue for greater comment and criticism on law review articles, something largely lacking in the reviews themselves?

Tom W. Bell said...

Oh, yes, Glen. Blogging has been a great boon to legal academia. But writing law review articles is not, and indeed has rather too little to do with, the *practice* of law.