AALS Panel on Student Scholarship

Dave Hoffman

Dave Hoffman is the Murray Shusterman Professor of Transactional and Business Law at Temple Law School. He specializes in law and psychology, contracts, and quantitative analysis of civil procedure. He currently teaches contracts, civil procedure, corporations, and law and economics.

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1 Response

  1. I strongly believe that students should be encouraged to publish. We do not have a Note system at the University of Melbourne, so it falls to lecturers to work with students to develop publishable work. I always tell students very early on in my courses that I encourage them to think about publication — and that, if they are interested in doing so, they should work closely with me to choose and develop a topic that is likely to interest a journal. I find that such ex ante involvement is critical, because students rarely know what topics are new/interesting/etc. Moreover, by ensuring that a student’s essay is structured in advance as a journal article instead of as a student essay, I can minimize the amount of work that she will have to do after the course is over. Integral to that process is getting the student to think about her essay as a two-stage process, distinguishing between what she needs to do for the course essay and what she needs to do post-course to make the essay publishable. In my experience, that kind of planning makes it far more likely that the student will produce something that can be submitted to journals. Finally, when the essay is complete, I help the student identify two or three relevant journals — emphasizing those I am involved with or are edited by friends of mine — and then submit the essay on the her behalf.

    The final point is worth emphasizing. I think non-American journals have a much less pronounced (though certainly not non-existent) bias against student work, perhaps because there is no Note system outside of the US. They are also almost always edited by lecturers instead of students, which facilitates using personal contacts to increase the likelihood that a student’s essay will be accepted for publication.

    I have had very good results from this process: four of my students, including three LLBs (undergraduate law students, which we had at Melbourne until recently), have published work in the very best journals in international criminal law.