Paul L. Caron

Thursday, March 28, 2019

Law Reviews And The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

HarvardLawProfBlawg (Anonymous Professor, Top 100 Law School), Law Reviews And The Self-Fulfilling Prophecy:

It’s time once again to take a look at things in the top 10 law review front. ... Out of the top 10 law journals, 80 percent of the publications in top 10 law reviews for 2018 are written by authors whose alma mater is one of those schools. ... In 2018, Yale Law School J.D. alums account for 25 percent of all T10 articles published.  Harvard accounts for 19 percent. ...

What this does suggest is that, unsurprisingly, the hierarchy perpetuates itself.  As the data suggests, there is some modicum of privilege that arises from being an alum of a highly ranked law school.  One might call it classism in academia.  Even if you decide not to call it that, it’s a combination of unsavory things that give rise to hierarchy.

It might be the case that the top 10 law schools have such a monopoly over legal education that there are few other professors available who are alums from other schools.  It might be the case that professors who are alums of lower ranked schools just don’t bother to submit to the top 10 law reviews.  Or, maybe those professors just don’t write as well those from top 10 law reviews so the prophecy is justifiably self-fulfilling.

Or, it might be the case that the world of legal academia is an anti-intellectual, self-perpetuating hierarchy.

Law Review Rankings, Legal Education | Permalink


Based on the superficial thinking displayed in the excerpts above, I can tell the anonymous author didn’t attend anything approaching a top law school.

I have a thought. Could it be that these “privileged” authors were admitted to law school because they were in the top 1% of intelligence in the country and thus predictably produced the best legal analysis?

But yes. There are certainly hierarchies in the world. See Jordan B. Peterson.

Posted by: Anon | Mar 29, 2019 2:41:41 AM

More evidence for the proposition that we ought to move to a system of genuine peer review with a double blind system.

Posted by: Steve Diamond | Mar 30, 2019 9:59:53 AM