Law Schools

Critical Race Theory Is Less Popular, While Interest in IP Rises, Law Review Citation Study Finds

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A new study of the most-cited law review articles concludes that critical legal studies and critical race theory “have faded in acceptance.”

The opposite is true for intellectual property law, according to the study by Yale associate librarian Fred Shapiro and Harvard law librarian Michelle Pearse. IP was once viewed as “small literature,” the study says, but interest in the area is rising. The National Law Journal reports on the findings.

The study (PDF), published in the Michigan Law Review, focuses on law review articles cited in law and social science journals. It lists the 100 most-cited law review articles of all time, and the 100 most-cited articles of the last 20 years. Harvard and Yale law schools both figure prominently on the lists.

The Harvard Law Review leads in the listing of the most-cited law review articles of all time, with 36 of its articles making the list. An analysis of the authors on the all-time list finds that Harvard narrowly leads Yale.

Tables of the most-cited papers published from 1990 to 2009 show “a more diffuse distribution of highly cited articles.” Of the most recent top 100 articles, 18 were published in the Harvard Law Review and 17 were in the Yale Law Journal. Yale has a “significant lead,” however, in an analysis of authors on this list.

“Harvard and Yale could now be seen as a duopoly, with Harvard pre-eminent on the all-time list and Yale foremost on the recent-articles list,” the study concludes.

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