February 2, 2010

UC Davis Launches Faculty Blog!

In April 1969, dedicating the new Martin Luther King, Jr. Hall, the Honorable Earl Warren observed that "in the naming of the building, one can sense the high purpose to which its facilities are to be dedicated." In the last four decades, the Law School has striven to live up to King's name. The faculty has sought to use this facility with a noble name to advance scholarship and teaching in the service of improving the lives of people in California, the United States, and beyond. From water law, to scientific evidence, to expert commissions, to the rights of children, to racial and economic justice for men and women--to take but a few examples--our faculty have sought to engage, and contribute to the understanding of, important legal issues.

Today, the University of California, Davis School of Law launches a new forum in which we can pursue this ambition. The UC Davis School of Law Faculty Blog will allow the law faculty to offer scholarship and commentary directly to the public. We will post our latest scholarship, including drafts of papers not yet in print, and we will re-post op-eds and columns from other fora (or at least tantalizing snippets thereof). We will also engage the latest legal developments--such as the enormously important Supreme Court decision in Citizens United v. FEC. (Once in a while, we may even post more light hearted material--maybe even a review of the latest Hollywood or Bollywood or Nollywood blockbuster.)

But we do not expect readers to consume our supposed wisdom passively. The Faculty Blog will allow the public to comment, critique, and improve upon our scholarship. We welcome your participation in this new forum.

By their very nature, the ideas essayed in a blog entry will often not be as fully-worked-through as those in a published academic project. Yet, the form offers the advantage of allowing us to explore new ground or introduce new ideas quickly and in an accessible form. The University of Chicago Law Faculty Blog helped pioneer and develop the law faculty blog form, and continues to set a high bar for the medium.

Despite the apparent simplicity of the page we launch today, there is a lot of work behind the scenes to design and program this spare offering. Jason Aller, Jamie Butler, Ed Henn, Peter Lee, Sam Sellers, and Pamela Wu deserve our gratitude for their hard work behind the scenes.  Peter Lee and I will serve as the founding editors of the Faculty Blog. 

In his remarks at the inauguration of the brick and mortar King Hall, Chief Justice Warren hoped that the new edifice would become a "temple of justice." Today, we hope to carry that mandate further into the frontier of cyberspace.