Should academic lawyers blog?

As an academic lawyer who writes his own blog, as well as contributing occasionally to others, my answer to the question “Should academic lawyers blog?” is, perhaps unsurprisingly, “Yes”. However, I was recently prompted—by agreeing to talk about blogging at a conference on the teaching of public law held at City Law School earlier this week—to reflect more carefully on whether, and if so why, writing and contributing to blogs is something that academic lawyers should do.

I started—two years ago—writing the predecessor to this blog (i.e. Mark’s blog Public Law for Everyone, Red. VerfBlog) in an attempt to enable people thinking of studying Law at university to find out more about the subject, to make a more-informed decision about whether they would enjoy studying it, and to allow them to test and explore their emerging interest in it. (There was also a less altruistic motive, in that I hoped this would encourage applications to St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, where I am a Fellow.) I soon came to realize, however, that writing a blog could not only facilitate outreach to prospective Law students, but that it also had the potential to play a significant role in relation my core research and teaching activities—as a means of reaching out to current Law students, other academics, and practitioners, and as a way of incubating and acting as a vehicle for the dissemination of my own ideas and research outputs. It is considerations such as these which have shaped this blog, Public Law for Everyone, and which inform its ongoing evolution.

Why blog?

There are many reasons why an academic lawyer might write a blog (as well as many reasons why she might not), but four particular reasons for doing so occur to me. The first is perhaps peculiar—although not, I am certain, unique—to the way in which I work ...

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