Jack Balkin has a really terrific interview about law blogs and blogging posted on his blog. I just want to quickly flag one thing he writes:
This is the first generation of law students who are going to law school after the rise of the blogosphere. If you went to law school a few years ago, you were totally immersed in the experience of a single law school, and your professors (and the law library) were the main sources of expertise. Now law students can hear legal opinions from law professors and their fellow students around the country-- and around the world-- on almost any topic they desire. The blogosphere becomes part of your legal education. That didn’t really exist before.
That's true, I guess... but is it really true for a significant percentage of the law school population? Like, what percent of law students read blogs on any sort of regular basis, especially blogs written by professors or students actually blogging about the law? I was probably as plugged into the blogosphere during law school as anyone, and even though the content is out there, and there are lots of very smart people writing very smart things about all sorts of legal issues, I'm not sure I read enough of it, and thought about enough of it, for it to really make an educational impact. But maybe there's lots of people taking better advantage than I was. I don't know. But I wonder how big the blog-engaged population really is. I'm sure it's higher among law students than among most segments of the population, but even so -- is it 5%? 10%? More? How many people are noticing an educational difference between the time before blogs and now? I don't have the answer, but I think it's an interesting question.