Jodi S. Balsam
Law Blogging Engages Students in Writing that Connects Theory to Practice and Develops Professional Identity
Law school doctrinal courses often require students to produce a writing assignment — e.g., a brief or research paper — in addition to taking an exam. Such assignments can stimulate meaningful learning, but students may not engage as thoroughly because the end product is not put to any purpose other than generating a grade. Students often perceive such writing as overly formal and/or theoretical, and chafe that their efforts are not being put to work in the service of a client, cause, or larger conversation about the law. One way to introduce authenticity and immediacy into writing assignments in the doctrinal classroom is to assign law students to research and author a blog entry to be posted on an Internet forum relevant to the subject matter of the course. A blogging assignment by nature connects theory to practice and by its process advances students in professional role formation. Although set in the author’s subject area of Sports Law, this article offers a roadmap for designing a blogging assignment suitable for any doctrinal course.