Attention Law Review Editors
I had a delightful hour yesterday afternoon here at the AALS with one of the proprietors of this blog who suggested I use the space to pitch a piece for publication, and, well, why not? So if you are not a law review editor, feel free to skip the rest of this post. Indeed, PLEASE skip the rest of this post because the combination of shameless and humiliating huckstering, self-aggrandizement, and groveling is likely to make you lose your lunch.
Here’s the deal. Over the summer, I posted a 9,000 word essay on SSRN entitled “Memo to Lawyers: How Not to Retire and Teach,” providing observations and advice to the long-time (or not so long-time) practitioner who might be contemplating a move to the academy (the first piece of advice being never to utter the disqualifying words: “I’d like to retire and teach.”) Based on feedback from colleagues, I feel confident in saying it is one of the resources, for better or worse, along with Brad Wendel’s classic “The Big Rock Candy Mountain: How to Get a Job in Law Teaching,” to which aspiring legal academics turn.
As of yesterday, it had been downloaded well over 1,300 times, making it the number 8 all-time paper in the Legal Education journal. At one point over the summer, it was number 4 in all of SSRN. I regularly get e-mail notes from academics (including several law school deans, one of whom told me how much he/she enjoyed it but hoped I was also doing serious work) and practitioners about the essay.
I’ll pass on trying to explain (because I don’t understand the rationale) why it was deemed not eligible for submission to the one really natural specialty journal. I will note that I submitted it broadly to general law reviews via ExpressO in the August submission season, and completely struck out. (This was not up there with the – deservedly – pitiless trashing of a book manuscript I foolishly and prematurely submitted to a major university press – see blog posts to come on learning to fail well – but it was not a highlight of my life either.) I’ve now had several questions here at the AALS meeting (including from my virtual host) about where I placed it, and my sheepish reply is that I did not. I will also pass on the rest of the rationalizing about why, and simply say that the article is still on the market for a law review that would like a gift that keeps on giving (in reprints perhaps if not in citations).
Any law review editor looking to fill out a volume with something that people actually read and spare me any more sheepish responses ought to drop me a note at jlipshaw-at-suffolk.edu.