Perhaps the most interesting outcome of the Legal Affairs survey of the top 20 legal thinkers in America is its between-the-lines commentary on the power of blogging. Little surprise that Supreme Court justices Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Sandra Day O’Connor, William Rehnquist, Antonin Scalia and Clarence Thomas and circuit judges Alex Kozinski and Richard Posner made the list.
But, brilliant though he may be, would Glenn Reynolds have made the list were he not also the Instapundit? And Legal Affairs itself suggests that, for all his accomplishments, Eugene Volokh may have been nudged onto the list thanks to his blog, The Volokh Conspiracy. Undoubtedly, Richard Posner would have made the list even without his blog, but just as undoubtedly, blogging has contributed to the high profile of Lawrence Lessig.
My point is not to diminish the credentials of anyone on the list or to suggest they do not belong there. My point, quite simply, is that this list stands as further proof in the growing body of evidence that blogging is an important and influential publishing medium. It is point that relates to lawyers everywhere — whether they aspire to be on the list of the nation’s top legal thinkers or, more modestly, the short list of go-to lawyers in their state or practice area. Short of an appointment to the Supreme Court, blogging may be the quickest route to the top of the list.