Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Follow-Up On Irrelevance of Law Reviews

This is a follow-up to yesterday's post entitled Are Law Reviews Irrelevant?.

Excerpt from the post:

"Summarizing a recent discussion at Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law about the dwindling influence of legal scholarship on the courts, Mr. Liptak [New York Times] says nearly all the judges in attendance agreed the articles had minimal impact on jurisprudence. And he quotes one judge as saying of his law-review articles, 'As far as I can tell, the only person to have read any of them was the person who edited them'."
Ann Althouse, law professor in Madison, Wisconsin, has commented on the issue on her blog Althouse and attracted a large number of comments from readers.

Some of the judges from the conference referred to above supposedly "pleaded with the law professors to write about actual cases and doctrines, in quick, plain and accessible articles".

Althouse's comments:

"And on the theory that I've got some judge and law clerk readers, let me put in my request that they write their damned opinions in a quick, plain and accessible style. Because I'm getting pretty weary of their obfuscatory, evasive, rambling scribblings myself. Unfortunately, I don't have the option of just not reading. Their work is imposed on us. Talk about an obligation to say something useful and well!"

"As for those professors, how much should we worry about their disinclination to stoop to the level of quick, plain accessibility for the purpose of talking to judges? Do you really think these characters who opted out of the practice of law should have more influence over the law that affects real life? Maybe you should be glad they've cocooned themselves within an academic discussion that harms no one".

"Do you feel sorry for the law review editors who work so hard on what the professors write? The editors still get their editing experience. They get their lustrous credential to put on that résumé that will land them the judicial clerkships where they will get more experience working on judicial opinions -- those lengthy, obfuscatory judicial opinions that fail to cite law review articles".

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posted by Michel-Adrien at 6:40 pm


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