Thanks, Dan, for that very generous introduction, and thanks to the permanent denizens of the Lounge, and to its regular readers, for allowing me to hang out here for a little while.
Blawg followers may know me principally as a law-and-tech person, or as an IP person. Madisonian.net (a group blog) has been online for a little over eight years. My interests, both online and off, extend a bit beyond that. (I've had readers of my CV ask me directly: So what do you do?) For many years I also wrote about economic development, innovation, arts, and technology in the Pittsburgh region, where I live. That blog, called Pittsblog, began in late 2003 and wound up its affairs in late 2011, but not before I learned enough about Pittsburgh's past, present, and future to warrant publishing a piece about the causes of and prospects for the continuing (and still incomplete) recovery of one mid-sized former industrial city. (I borrowed and built on the work of Ben Chinitz and Ed Glaeser.) I founded and for several years published the first neighborhood blog in my little self-absorbed Pittsburgh suburb, trying to shine the light of critical engagement on the better and worse attributes of community governance and suburban culture. (That experience produced my least favorite blogging experience, and some lessons.) I created one of the first law faculty blogs, at Pitt (now mostly deceased; it did not survive the expiration of my term as Research Dean). And I maintain an online calendar of scholarly events in the IP and Internet Law worlds.
What all of that adds up to is this: I don't know precisely what I'll be blogging about here at the Lounge. I suspect that it won't be limited to (or even connected strongly to) my scholarship, which in recent years, as Dan notes, has focused on commons governance and institutional considerations in innovation and creativity contexts generally.
Instead, I have a few thoughts to come on teaching law, and on the state and future of legal education. I just returned from this conference at IAALS in Denver. (IAALS stands for "Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System," and the acronym is pronounced "aisles.") The conference was sponsored by an IAALS project titled "Educating Tomorrow's Lawyers," or ETL, and it focused on how law schools and individual faculty are pursuing one of the objectives identified in the 2007 Carnegie Report on legal education -- developing law students' "professional identity." I'll post later about what happened at that conference and what, if anything, that portends for legal education generally. In the meantime, here's a link to a madisonian post from earlier this year, in which I describe my own teaching style, which tries to bring some experiential learning and writing practice to the "doctrinal" classroom, and how I came to be associated with the ETL project.