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Monday, November 13, 2006

Calling all Students

I'm always interested in reading comments from students that post on Prawfsblog.    There are a few at least semi-regular contributors, but some threads have brought out a LOT of student commentors (some examples are not surprising -- a recent thread on what to do when students are unprepared, and older thread about a strike causing relocation of law classes).

This implies to me that there are a decent number of student "lurkers."  Nothing wrong with that.  But I'm curious as to why students read this blog.  Is it because
    (a) you can read and maybe join a discussion with some reasonably smart and knowledgable folks about the legal issues and law school?
    (b) it's a chance to see how law profs (prawfs?) chat amongst themselves, probably a bit more informally than they do in class?
    (c)  you know/take classes from particular professors, and you like them enough to check them out in this forum?
    (d)  you would like to tell these pompous windbags what you really think of them, at least on some points?
    (e) reading this stuff can kill time during dull classes?
    (f) something else?

And what does it take to get one of those "hot pepper" rankings in ... ah, strike that.

Seriously, I like reading what students have to say, so I would like to know what prompts you folks to read and (sometimes) post.

Posted by JosephSlater on November 13, 2006 at 06:11 PM in Blogging | Permalink


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I come here for the in-depth thoughts/conversations on the law. Class is often too brief to really dig into serious issues, especially those which pique my interest.

Also, one of the sad facts of law school is that there isn't time to dabble in every course. A blawg like this, full of so many different interests/specialties, gives a student the opportunity to sample different fields which he might be interested in, but simply doesn't have the time to learn formally. In that respect, I personally found the "Research Canons" posts on this blawg thrilling!

Posted by: Robert Carlin | Nov 19, 2006 10:11:02 PM

(C) Some of us just don't get enough of Leib in class

Posted by: Adeline Soper | Nov 14, 2006 11:59:34 AM

B and E mostly. I find the discussions of law school itself the most interesting, particularly prof's thinkings about students. I know the general student feeling about the student who is never prepared, or the one who talks too much in class, or the student who loves to discuss cases in the comments (without mentioning the page number or comment number) as if it were the assigned case. But the view from the other side, the side that matters (as profs give our grades) is always good to know.

I also find that reading posts on here helps me narrow down areas of the law that I do and do not like without having to sit through a class about it.

With regard to E... Is it wrong that I would rather read posts on here than listen to my fellow students debate matters which are only tangentially related and of little importance to the final? Am I being "rude" to the prof by reading this in class, or am I simply being more efficient in furthering my education?

Posted by: Hanson | Nov 14, 2006 11:31:10 AM

I have never posted to this blog before, but read it for a number of reasons. My torts professor recalled that in law school she had no idea what her professors did outside of the classroom. She told me that she believed the professors were "raised out of the floor a few minutes before class started and lowered back down right after it finished." I feel very similar to this description. This blog goes a long way towards educating me on how professors think and feel about their profession. It's definitely interesting to hear about the stresses of the job search as well. Feeling the same pressures and wories myself about my summer employment, I can now relate more fully not just to the posting prawfs, but also my proffessors here at law school. Also, reading itelligent postings on law issues hone my keen legal mind (well, at least I hope I am developing some sort of legal mind...)

Posted by: KWA | Nov 14, 2006 11:29:56 AM

I'm basically with Jim. I don't know if I'd be here if it wasn't for Professor Markel. Of course, there are many hidden gems in the internet, which once discovered, become indispensible. This is surely one.

Posted by: Bart Motes | Nov 14, 2006 10:47:31 AM

B (with a bit of B on the side). I feel like it's a chance to see a bit of what's behind the surface face law prawfs present in the classroom (which isn't an insult; just a fact of having a student-teacher relationship, I think). I'm always interested in the posts about why particular teaching decisions are made, for instance.

Posted by: KMM | Nov 14, 2006 7:29:54 AM

I agree with Dave!'s #3 comment. Professor Leib was my professor last year and at first I just read his posts, but then started to find others interesting as well- there's a wide array of topics covered here, often comprehensively and with some humor- so I can nerd out and laugh at the same time. I'll be honest, I often skip the heavier stuff because I'm not deeply academic, but I really enjoy the current-events-commentary. I like being able to learn from people who know a lot more than me about the law, but be able to choose the topic and how engaged I want to be. And I like being able to read the comments and watch how the professors dialogue with each other.

Posted by: kommishonerjenny | Nov 14, 2006 3:16:21 AM

1. I like to read what academics are working on and thinking about. As anon points out, I have a vested interest in how law professors approach their craft.

2. I don't think I want to be an academic, but I like research. Go figure.

3. A bunch of law professors discussing amongst themselves is pretty much the status quo at most schools. Being able to engage profs in discussions when my grades aren't on the line is nice.

Posted by: Dave! | Nov 13, 2006 9:28:51 PM

I got turned on to this blog while I was a student of Dan's, um, I mean Professor Markel's. Over the summer as a state appellate court clerk doing nothing but post conviction appeals this blog provided me with an oppurtinity to engage in conversations on a broader array of topics. During school it is at times a welcome distraction from the rigor of school work. Plus, I might actually on occasion contribute something worthwhile if I'm lucky.

Posted by: Jim Green | Nov 13, 2006 9:09:15 PM

And I like seeing Paul sneak in Canadian content

Posted by: anon | Nov 13, 2006 9:01:45 PM

I read it for the same reason an aging lefthanded control pitcher might read a blog in which home plate umpires discuss their craft.

Posted by: anon | Nov 13, 2006 9:00:32 PM

A & B.

Plus I'm looking for other stuff to keep on the cutting edge of law that isn't just the hot topic of the week that many of the on-line law blawgs seem to echo. I have found the "other" here.

Also - I'm always wanting to hear the Prawfs thoughts on certain topics worth writing about (the big topics are going to be published by prawfs -thus us lower folks need to pick up the crumbs).

Posted by: Deuce | Nov 13, 2006 8:53:44 PM

Id say three reasons I read:
1) I'm a nerd, and theres often interesting/high-quality law-related banter on here that I wish I was more able to engage in in law school.
2) As someone considering legal academia as a possible profession, its pleasant to see less formal, more "exposed" law profs- indicating perhaps more pleasant colleagues than I'd otherwise expect.
3) As a law student, I have a vested interest in the (present and) future of legal eduation, and that is often the subject.

Posted by: Lurker | Nov 13, 2006 8:39:43 PM

I think those particular posts got a lot of student comments primarily because they were linked to from elsewhere:


Posted by: Anthony | Nov 13, 2006 7:47:46 PM

Law professors are the subject of
our ire and admiration. It is only natural to be curious about how
theybehave and thinkin their "natural

Posted by: Astucious | Nov 13, 2006 7:16:47 PM

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