It wouldn’t have happened at a law review…

While I am more than willing to acknowledge (and complain at great lengths) about the faults of student-edited law reviews, I am not as dogmatic on the subject as some. I actually think that law reviews often do a better job than they are given credit for by academics who are convinced that their brilliant and ground breaking work is just not appreciated by 3Ls. Also, the quality of the copy editing in law reviews tends to be very high. For example, the editors’ preface in the most recent issue of the Journal of Legal Education (which is not, as far as I know, run by students) contains this boo-boo:

Educators Neil Hamilton and Lisa Brabbit [AS: check spelling of author’s name] focus our attention on the importance of mentoring and career “role-modeling” as part of the educational process to instill notions of “professionalism” in our law students and young lawyers.

One suspects that this sort of mistake is less common when hyper anal third-year law students are at the helm.

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7 Responses

  1. anon says:

    Actually, the legal acadamy gives a lot of credit (in deed, though not in word) to student law reviews–we rely on placement as a strong proxy for quality. Everyone complains, but no one does anything about it (like disregard placement). To an economist, that is call a “revealed preference”.

  2. Adam Kolber says:

    I can attest to another story quite like the one Eric references. I opened up the article immediately following mine in a law review and saw that that author had precisely the same education and people to thank as I did! In this case, I wasn’t the victim. But the author following me was probably pretty upset.

  3. wow says:

    I hope you aren’t seriously suggesting that competent article selection and refereeing are less important than making sure the paper has no typos.

  4. Joseph Slater says:

    I’m not sure it’s a “revealed preference” as “lazyness” or more charitably, “no obvious alternatives” + “folks at elite schools, at least at the margins, benefit from the system and thus don’t have a big incentive to change it.”

    And yeah, article selection and copyediting are quite different issues.

  5. Joseph Slater says:

    I’m not sure it’s a “revealed preference” as much as “lazyness” or more charitably, “no obvious alternatives” + “folks at elite schools, at least at the margins, benefit from the system and thus don’t have a big incentive to change it.”

    And yeah, article selection and copyediting are quite different issues.

  6. Mike says:

    It does happen in student-edited law reviews. See 63 S. Cal. L. Rev. 533 n.387 (“Need cite.”).