Blogging for Credit? Why Not?

Equal Process? Due Protection?: Brilliant ideas (not mine) points to 3L Epiphany, which includes this arresting passage:

“I’m getting credit for this.”

Law school credit, that is. I’m getting law school credit for blogging. And as far as I know, I’m the first law student to do so.

To which EP appends,

Maybe I’ll try it next semester. I imagine the conversation will go something like this:

Me: “Hey dean [or whoever is in charge of deciding to give credits for things like this], do you want to give me a couple of credits to criticize everything I don’t like about this school, rip the third-world bathrooms, complain about the woeful parking conditions and idiots who run the parking shuttles, moan about my lack of job prospects, point out the absurdities of law school, wonder whether it’s all worthwhile, take note of the eccentricities of the faculty, mention my incompetent LRW teacher, and occasionally reveal my personal problems?”

Dean: “Um, no. I don’t think so. Get the hell out of my office now.”

In fact, at UM any faculty member can do an independent two-credit writing project with a student. I could, for example. And I would be delighted to work out a blogging-for-credit project. But not anything so shapeless as the project described above.

What would a good blogging-for-credit project look like? There’s room for negotiation, but I think that the project would have to be focused as to subject, involve the application of actual legal research, and ideally be somewhat sensitive to current events. It might follow a notorious local trial, involving in-person attendance and explanations of what’s going on. Or it could be a running commentary on, say, the most interesting cases decided by a particular circuit. (The trick here would be to contextualize, to add value to what we’d get anyway from the advance sheets.)

I’m sure there are other models too, and invite suggestions.

Potentially interested UM students should read what I tell students who want to write ordinary papers, and also consider themselves on notice that I’m apparently considered a tough grader….

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3 Responses to Blogging for Credit? Why Not?

  1. Pat says:

    “On notice.” Heh…who do you think you are? Stephen Colbert?

  2. Don says:

    This is not only good for the student, but for readers as well. As an official project we’d be assured of some higher standards being applied.

    There was an interesting debate on integrity in blogs over at The Washington Note.

    It would be nice if the projects from students could be grouped and some type of oversight applied and advertised. That would let us know that these research or opinion pieces actually had veracity.

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