Being an innovator in the academic space isn’t a new role for The University of Pacific’s McGeorge School of Law.
The school is one of two on the West Coast that requires four semesters of legal writing and one of six in the country that guarantees clinical or experiential learning opportunities. Its legislative and policy clinic was even named one of the most innovative in the country.
McGeorge is always looking to advance the space and take it where it hasn’t gone before.
These ideals led to a new partnership with LexBlog and the creation of McGeorge Law Today—a Syndication Journal for the school’s faculty, alumni and staff that launches today.
LexBlog’s Syndication Journals aggregate all of the content from an organization, firm or law school into one location. If it has an RSS feed, it fits, and through this technology McGeorge can publish a central hub for their community’s blogging.
Continuing a culture of innovation
McGeorge is constantly looking at ways they can do things differently, ways they can do things better—and McGeorge Law Today is a continuation of that.
“I think it really fits with what we’re trying to do with McGeorge, which is to be a modern law school that focuses on what it’ll be like for them to develop really strong practices,” Schwartz said. “It just seemed like such a great and unique opportunity to champion the McGeorge name and support our alumni, faculty and staff and keep the law school being forward looking as an institution.”
With a blogging initiative already in place at McGeorge—the school currently hosts six blogs on the LexBlog platform—a Journal is a way to better showcase the knowledge of its community and set a precedent for other law schools to match.
Schwartz is happy to be the first law school launching a blogging project of this nature.
“I’m really excited about being the first school to launch a Journal because I think it reflects something that’s really important about McGeorge—we are a forward-thinking law school.”
As local news and journalism strengthen a community’s sense of belonging and connectivity, a Journal allows for the different hubs of the community to come together.
“It really does allow there to be almost a conversation, and a conversation that the members of our community can all participate in,” Schwartz said. “They can see what each other is passionate about.”
Legal blogging is a public service that McGeorge wishes to elevate
The benefits of legal blogging are twofold. Not only does it amplify the blogger’s expertise, it serves as a medium to make the law and justice system more accessible to the general public.
While other forms of legal writing often have language barriers, blogging takes a more casual, explanatory approach.
“Generating important legal knowledge really allows the profession to look to a model where we’re less about getting information to clients and more about solving problems for clients,” Schwartz said. “It actually gets law moving to where I think the profession is going to be really focused on using the analytical skills that our students learn—and that lawyers know—to solve problems against a backdrop of the wall.”
And by helping individuals with current or future legal problems, bloggers are cementing themselves as authorities in their given practice area.
“In a blog, you can’t solve a complex problem, what you can do is describe a state of the law. And what’s really exciting about this is that we’re saying, well, these are the things that you should just know,” Schwartz said. “And when you’re ready to actually solve a problem that uses this background, I’ve now established myself as an expert by blogging about it.”
Not only will this Journal amplify existing voices in the space, it will hopefully encourage others to join in and educate the public in the process.
“You’re explaining to a public that doesn’t generally understand the law, because it’s just more complicated than folks want to spend time on things,” Schwartz said. “You’re explaining it to them in a way that’s more digestible and makes it easier for more people to understand how the law works and how laws get made and how these decisions get made.”
Alumni will have the opportunity to launch a blog on the LexBlog Platform for free—same goes for faculty.
McGeorge Law Today launches today, September 21. Subscribe here to stay connected to the school’s blogging developments and see how much further they can push the academic space.