By Sydney Reed • November 21, 2016
Salman Rushdie once said, "Two things form the bedrock of any open society-- freedom of expression and the rule of law. If you don't have those things you don't have a free country." I couldn't agree more, but should I ever meet Rushdie, I would point out the interesting and important role blogs play in this powerful dynamic.
Blogging is one of the most accessible forms of freedom expression in modern society. A blog is a vehicle for experience, education, awareness, and emotion alike. It allows people to share their experiences and perspectives, listen to one another, and engage with those they may never have met otherwise. Such freedom of expression encourages connection between people from all walks of life.
This is true of all blogs, yet it is especially important of blogs that address rule of law. Throughout legal history, discussion and debate regarding the rule of law took many forms; today, the blog is the law’s newest platform. As blogs continue to connect students, attorneys, judges, law makers, and academics and enable them to educate one another and analyze the law together, they will gradually help to shape the rule of law itself. Outside of legal debate, blogs provide a space for those same people to reflect, connect, and inspire one another, ultimately impacting the community and the profession for the better. This in turn, proves to be an incredible resource for pre-law individuals as it gives them unlimited perspective as to the state and demands of the profession and permits them to reach out and tap into a vibrant network of those in already in the know.
I've witnessed the power of blogging firsthand in my professional life. As an intern for the LIVESTRONG Foundation, I wrote a blogpost in honor of Melanoma Awareness Month on how to select the best sunscreen. While I understood the importance of my message, I didn't expect the post to receive much attention as sunscreen isn't the most stimulating of topics. Hours after the post went live, I was shocked to find that the post had gone viral. The readers' comments touched me as they thanked me for addressing a subject so often ignored and encouraged me to continue to write.
Given such an experience, it was only natural for me to turn to blogs as I began the law school application process. I parsed through dozens of blogs, devouring information shared by students, schools, and attorneys alike. Ms. JD became by far my favorite as the perspectives shared proved to be insightful and invaluable. Following the adventures of real law students by reading my favorite Ms. JD columns, “A Parliament of OWLs” and “Soldier On: Bootcamp to Law School,” made entering law school less intimidating and equipped with me knowledge to succeed starting on day one.
Beyond functioning as an indispensable resource and network, by facilitating freedom of expression and stimulating debate surrounding the rule of law, the blog serves a part of the modern bedrock of society.