Law Prof Blawg, Why Do Law Professors Write Law Review Articles?:
Publish or perish, but is there a point to it?
Why do I write law review articles? Other professors are starting to ask the same question of themselves. Or more precisely, others are trying to measure who is making a “scholarly impact.” ...
This whole quest started with another bad idea. Publish or perish. The whole game of academia is to publish articles so that one can get tenure, get promoted, and be on top of the world. This means publication in student-run law reviews, preferably at the highest U.S. News and World Report ranks. ...
We know you are making the world a better place if you have a scholarly impact. As Brian Leiter put it, “one would expect scholarly impact to be an imperfect measure of scholarly quality. But an imperfect measure may still be an adequate measure.” In other words, we have to measure something!
Hence, the law professor searches for meaning in the isolating world of legal scholarship. We take to the streets to get our message out. Some write op-eds. Some write amicus briefs. Some testify before Congress and look earnest on camera as a (typically male) member of Congress explains things to us about our own field of expertise.
I’ve done all of that. And I’m not one bit happier. More importantly, many have pointed out the potential racial and gender biases of scholarly impact measurements. Just as one example, Nancy Leong’s blog post is an impressive discussion on the topic. Gasp! I cited a blog!
To answer these questions, I have teamed up with the Loyola University Chicago School of Law to host a symposium on April 6, 2018, regarding “The Future of Legal Scholarship.”
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