Monday, September 10, 2007

P.S. Yet More on the Elites vs Moneylaw

Here is an interesting article about how law review editors select articles. As you would expect institutional authority -- credentials and prior placements -- are very important. Not surprising.

It seems clear that hiring is not quided by moneylaw priciples. Nor is the selection of articles. Is anything in law teaching not wired? More importantly, what would a moneylaw system of law reviews look like?


Blogger Jeff Harrison said...

Nancy: I read your post on your blog. Nice. Sound like a place where everyone contributes to the commons, trust each other and the administration. So it is possible.

9/11/2007 10:12 AM  
Blogger Dale said...

I have some thoughts on what a Moneylaw system of law reviews would look like...

(1) Peer-reviewed, with absolutely no student editorial input except for final cite-checks. It's long past time for law to join the rest of the academic world and move to peer-reviewed journals.
(2) Double-blind review. Authors are not told who will be reviewing their articles, and reviewers will not be told who wrote them.
(3) As a corollary to (2), before an article is submitted for review, it will be redacted to remove any identifying information about the author. The only thing that a reviewer will be told is whether the author is a practitioner, judge, academic, or student.
(4) Student submissions should meet the same standards as those by other authors. In fact, I believe they should be held to HIGHER standards than other articles. I would have no problem at all if a school's journal goes five or ten years without ever publishing a student article.
(5) Once student articles are forced to meet the same standards as those written by professionals, the "notes" and "comments" distinctions should disappear. Those very few student articles that are published should be treated identically to those by professionals, and not flagged in any way as students' work.
(6) As for the student experience, first-year staffers would do minimal cite-checking after an article is approved. Second-years would manage the peer review process and handle the nuts-and-bolts of publication.
(7) Also, journal participation will strictly be volunteer. No more grade-on or write-on. This way, the staffers will be those who have a genuine interest in academic publishing.
(8) The carrot for staffers: They will become peer reviewers at some time in the near future... say, one year after passing the bar.
(9) Eliminate multiple submissions. How to enforce this? Before an article is sent for peer review, the author must assign his or her first publication rights in the article and any derivative works to the journal. No exceptions. The journal can release those rights back to the author if it decides not to publish the article.

FYI: I'm not an academic. I was a Top 10 graduate at a T4 school who never joined a journal, but I had briefly considered starting a secondary journal at my school. This is an expansion of the ideas I had for that project.

9/12/2007 2:55 PM  

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