Criminal Law Journal Launches New Web Feature for Practitioners
The Ohio State Journal of Criminal Law has launched an innovative new web feature designed to spark dialogue among criminal law practitioners around the country.
“These practitioners are, for the most part, an untapped audience,” said 3L Dan Maurer, an executive editor for the OSJCL. “We hope to provide insight and spur discussion regarding issues that practitioners are encountering every day.”
The student initiated, student managed project, dubbed “OSJCL Amici: Views from the Field,” (at http://osjcl.blogspot.com) will solicit practitioners (state and federal prosecutors, defense attorneys, judges, and clerks) to craft short commentaries on pending or recently decided U.S. Supreme Court cases, recent criminal-law-related news events, or various other issues related to criminal law. Those commentaries, sparsely footnoted or not footnoted at all, will be posted on the web site and be open to comments by visitors. This project builds off the explosive growth of the Internet as a resource for legal research and commentary and is a first-of-its kind project for a law review in this country, Dan said.
The blog-like web site took off with a better-than-expected rush, with more than 4,000 visitors in the first seven days, according to Dan.
“We hope this bridges the gap between academic scholarship and the practicing world,” Dan said.
Work on the site, which was launched in January, started in November 2006.
2L Courtney Boyd, who was recently named the journal’s incoming chief managing editor for Practitioners’ Commentary, said that she hopes to continue expanding the project in the 2008-09 school year. Topics posted will cover a broad array of subjects, including some that are tied to the journal’s print editions, symposiums, and other on-campus events.
A board of advisors for the project will help student editors brainstorm ideas for posts and help attract commentators to make initial submissions.
An ancillary goal of the web site is to provide a clearinghouse of information regarding criminal law, Dan said. One such feature includes the “Crim Law Chatter” section, which provides regularly updated links to relevant news items. Future posts are also expected to provide up-to-date information regarding the Supreme Court’s criminal law and procedure cases.
Dan and Courtney wanted to thank several people for getting the project off the ground, including: Susan Landrum, incoming OSJCL editor-in-chief; Constantine Economides and Kelle Hinderer, incoming managing editors at the journal; 3L Monique Madison, the outgoing technology editor; Sheena Little, outgoing OSJCL editor-in-chief; and faculty editors, Professors Dressler, Berman, and Michaels.