Public Law

Public Law Journal: SUMMER 2023, VOLUME 45, NUMBER 4


Written by Chris Whitman

Amidst the frenetic exchange of emails and reviews of digital proofs, etc., involved in finalizing this issue of the Public Law Journal, I had an epiphany: once an issue of the Journal is done, printed on paper, and arrives in the mail, the experience of reading it can be an old-fashioned exercise, and that is a wonderful thing.

Imagine putting down your phone and closing your laptop before reading these articles about current issues in public law in a physical, paper journal. That experience would be a radical departure from how we frequently consume content, i.e., in digital form on an electronic device that is connected to the internet. And being digitally connected at all times is, in my opinion, one of the defining characteristics of the practice of law today.

The "office" for most lawyers today-even including those of us at public agencies with limited IT budgets-extends into our home and personal lives because we are nearly always connected. At our actual offices, we are available to colleagues and clients in person, on landlines, through email and instant messaging, and via video conferences through our desktop computers; and away from the office, we can be reached in the same ways on our mobile phones, laptops, smart watches, and other devices. And critically, these electronic devices emit a non-stop barrage of beeps, pings, rings, haptic feedback, and other notifications that interfere with our ability to sustain our focus and concentration on a single task or project. Aside from work, there is also the ever-present draw of social media apps and the news media, which are specifically and intentionally engineered to distract us and trigger emotional reactions to keep us engaged, scrolling, clicking, and viewing ads.

Join CLA to access this page


Log in

Forgot Password

Enter the email associated with you account. You will then receive a link in your inbox to reset your password.

Personal Information

Select Section(s)

CLA Membership is $99 and includes one section. Additional sections are $99 each.