Lowering the Bar is targeted at the legal professional, including students and practitioners. The author, Kevin Underhill, is a partner at Shook, Hardy and Bacon in San Francisco and graduated from Georgetown in 1993. His postings are humorous, yet true. He prides himself on verifying information before he posts it to the blog, and embedding links to cited authority and other resources.
Although legal professionals enjoy the site, it is written in a very down-to-Earth way that appeals to law students and non-legal professionals, as well. In a convenient column on the right side of the home page, Lowering the Bar offers 30 links to other outside sites. There are also links within the site to archives and useful resources such as commonly used pleadings. To ensure easy access, there is a column that lists over 50 areas of law alphabetically. This helps if you are looking for interesting items in a particular area such as animal law or environmental law.
Lowering the Bar archives older posts and, at the end of each post, provides links to other relevant articles on the site and metadata tags. At the top of the homepage, there is also a list of recent posts. To make following the blog easier, there is a “Follow Me” button on the home page, links to social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and several others, and an RSS feed.
My first experience with Lowering the Bar was a Google search that listed the blog among other relevant hits related to a federal case, in which police in New Mexico manually searched the anus of a man believed to be hiding drugs behind his clenched buttocks, that I had decided to research as a result of a posting on Facebook. I went to the blog and found a post discussing the “clenched buttocks” case and other current actions, as well as, links to the original news stories and subsequent others. Lowering the Bar has posted updates to its original post, including links to the federal court filings and news coverage of the victim’s police and medical records.
Mr. Underhill generally posts every day, sometimes several posts a day. They usually discuss recent news and are interesting and informative, while still being entertaining. The recent murder investigation of an undercover agent is one example of an interesting news item that has appeared in several blog posts. The police had ruled the agent’s death due to natural causes, even though his body was found inside a locked duffel bag that had been placed in a bathtub. The blog posts several pictures of the expert witness recreating the scene by getting into a bathtub and zipping himself into a duffel bag.
I love Lowering the Bar; it is easy to use and has a lot of helpful resources. The blog also is a great place to find a little bit of humor about the sometimes, very heavy subject of law.
~ Debra Chamberlain Marshall, L’15 ~
Class Advisor – Cory M. Lenz, Esq.