I have edited Nexus, a publication of Chapman University Law School, for more than a decade. My favorite piece from all those years is Joseph Epstein’s “Why I Am Not a Lawyer.” One of many great segments from this piece:
How did lawyers go from Americans
natural aristocrats, from an almost
priestly cast, to figures an increasingly
large share of the population look upon
as, chiefly, disastrously expensive to do
business with, hopelessly pugnacious,
and people for whom life is much better
when they play no part in it. Something
has happened to the practice of law over
the past fifty or so years to cause it to
lose its grandeur, and, in many quarters,
even its dignity.
I think the reason lawyers have flocked to blogging is because of the very decline Epstein pointed to, and that among the country’s hundreds of thousands of lawyers –approximately 600,000 all told– are those who are attempting to redeem their careers via the public engagement that blogging allows while fulfilling the deep desire to write in the manner that briefs and law review articles will not permit because of their rules.
This and other aspects of blogging’s impact on the law, lawyering, and legal scholarship will be the subject of an evening panel next week at Chapman Law School which I will moderate, and which will feature great experts on these topics and others, including my radio pal Professor Bainbridge.
Details of the panel, which gets underway at 7 PM on Thursday, March 23rd, in Room 237 at Chapman University Law School in Orange, California. Other panelists: Tim Sandefur, Frank Snyder, Denise Howell, Vince Chiappetta, Paul Horwitz and my Chapman Law colleague Donald Kochan.
Both lawyer and non-lawyer bloggers are encouraged to attend and live blog the event.