Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Why This Blog?

Well, it has been just under a month which I think gives me some authority to say what this blog is actually about and what this blog means to me.

Over the summer while working at Concord & Co. law firm in Shanghai, my boss, Alex Cai, suggested that I read China Law Blog to keep up on China's laws and as a good jumping off point for research. When I returned to the States, I found that I couldn't stay off of CLB, and I began posting comments. The comments helped me to stay somewhat sharp on Chinese law because I would search around for other sources for fear that I would say something completely uninformed. That's not to say that I didn't make some mistakes...

I began to feel, not guilty, but sort of strange posting comments on somebody else's blog so often, and there was even more that I wanted to post, but there was a nagging sense of invasion (but, now that I have my own blog I realize this was stupid). Thus, I started my own blog.

The tricky part was coming up with a name. Just about every combination of law, china, business, and blog, had been snatched up. I considered using a historical Chinese name or a Chinese idiom, but these seemed too presumptuous for a foreigner. Thus, I decided to choose the appropriate words of a, or is it The, great American Jurist, Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. My IP Survey Professor, David McGowan, unintentionally explained Holmes on the last day of class: [paraphrasing]
"You come into law school and we break down the cases and teach you all these little black letter rules that supposedly are what decide the case, when in reality you win the cases based on how snarfy your brief is written and the precedent that will be set if the judge decides in your favor. Good luck on the final, but remember that you're not going to learn anything until you're in practice. You're only learning critical thinking skills here."
This is my roundabout way of saying that the title of this blog is not me suggesting that I have a terrible amount experience, although I do have some, but that I need to grow experience. The person whom I most enjoy poking fun at is myself, and the title of this blog reminds me everyday that I need to gain experience and that logic cannot get me everything. There is a limited amount of experience one can gain from reading articles and synthesizing them on his blog, but it is experience nonetheless, and the extent of experience one can gain during a school year.

Sometimes my posts are virtually unintelligible (it was really late...), sometimes they are flippant, and sometimes they are good. They are not all without mistakes, see "good", but I will try and correct mistakes, see comment to "good".

This site does great service to me by forcing me to practice my writing and research often and in a subject I am interested in. And the site allows me to expand my learning beyond the rules that we discover in the classroom. For others, at the moment, I think that the best thing this site has going for it is the Posts of the Week, which I plan as a sort of practice guide that collects all of the best substantive posts of the week on business and law in China. That's not to say that some of my posts aren't original and useful, but that the totality of posts around the web on China each week outweigh the originality and usefulness of anything that I could produce.

That said...

I've got some fun posts planned for the next two weeks. I'll be posting another unintelligible post on law and economics tonight or tomorrow, and I'll be posting some data up next week that I hope gets some use.

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