Have you returned from Spring Break in need of a paper or note topic? With their focus on hot legal issues, blawgs can be a great place to troll for ideas. Although blawgs can be quite sophisticated in their analysis of current legal trends, they tend to catch on to developments in their early stages, before anyone has addressed them in a scholarly paper. You can use blawgs, then, to find issues that legal scholars or lawyers care about, but have not yet been covered by scholarly literature. There are blawgs on almost any legal topic, and even a blawg on “circuit splits,” that always popular avenue for student note or comment publishers who would like to have their article noticed by the Supreme Court. A good place to start is the ABA’s Blawg Directory, where you can browse hundreds of the most popular blawgs, grouped by topic.
Twitter feeds are not as useful for paper ideas because of their limited content, although there are a number of legal academics on Twitter. Perhaps more useful to soon-to-be attorneys is that government agencies are increasingly using Twitter to communicate with the public. The White House tweets, as do major agencies. For example, the Consumer Product Safety Commission puts out its product recall announcements through Twitter. While Twitter’s main use may always be for professional athletes to insult one another, why not make use of the service as a good way to stay on top of legal developments as well?
– Ben Doherty