Law Schools

Law review articles are too long, editors rely too much on author pedigrees, critics say in survey

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Are law review articles too long? Yes, according to many of those who responded to a recent survey. And those weren’t their only criticisms.

Student editors tend to select articles for publication based on the pedigree of the law professors who author them rather than the merits of the articles, academics complain. And practitioners and judges say they often don’t find the articles helpful, the National Law Journal (sub. req.) reports.

Results of the survey, which was put together by professors from Appalachian School of Law and psychology professors and doctoral students from University of North Dakota, are detailed in an article in the latest issue of Loyola Law Review (published by the New Orleans-based university). It is titled: “Do Law Reviews Need Reform: A Survey of Law Professors, Student Editors, Attorneys and Judges.”

They certainly aren’t the first to question whether law review articles are relevant. However, the survey offers some suggestions for improvement.

“Law reviews are likely not meeting the needs of attorneys and judges; and law professors believe that they have a capricious, negative effect on their careers,” the authors of the article conclude. “The vast majority of legal professionals and student editors believe that law reviews should be reformed and that the reforms should include blind, peer reviews and more student training.”

See also:

ABA Journal (2012): “The High Bench vs. the Ivory Tower”

ABA (2012): “Was Chief Justice Roberts Right? Law Review Circulation Reaches New Lows” (2012): “Do You Ever Read Law Review Articles? Or Write Them?” (2011): “Law Prof Responds After Chief Justice Roberts Disses Legal Scholarship”

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