That is the question asked in an article published last week in the Legal Times.
It provides an overview of the increasing use of the legal blogosphere by tenured law professors to pursue legal scholarship:
“If you are looking for the future of legal scholarship, chances are that you may find it not in a treatise or the traditional law review but in a different form, profoundly influenced by the blogosphere (…) Who are the bloggers? The uninitiated might think they would be young professors, those who have grown up with the Internet and are comfortable with self-publication in that format. While there are some of those, the legal blogosphere tends to be populated by midcareer professors who have tenure, are intimately familiar with traditional legal scholarship and see the Internet as a way to reach more readers in a less ritualized format (…)”
“Why, then, spend the time? One answer is that a blog reaches far more readers than traditional scholarship. Eugene Volokh said in 2006 that his blog gets about 20,000 unique visitors a day. Readers of traditional law review articles are not counted, but, he says, he’s pretty sure that number is very far from 20,000”.
“Immediate feedback is another reason. In days of yore, a law review article would be written, published and perhaps presented at a symposium. Scholars would reply with another article, perhaps followed by a response from the initial author. With a law review publication schedule of six to 18 months, scholarly dialogue proceeded at a snail’s pace. Bloggers explore issues as they happen, knowing that others will critique their opinions within days, if not hours or minutes”.