Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Continuing on the series on advice to law journals....
My third piece of advice to law reviews seeking to improve is to publish symposia. At least for journals outside of the top fifty or so, I think this is very sound advice (and probably pretty good for all reviews). You can likely solicit people who'll produce better pieces than you're likely to get if you rely on what walks in the door. And you give good authors a reason to publish in your journal.
Some journals have been very successful with this in recent years. The Chicago-Kent Law Review springs to mind and Loyola LA has moved to an all-symposium format as well (though I don't think there's been enough time to know how well that has worked just yet). The Fordham, DePaul, Albany, and Thomas Jefferson law reviews have used symposia very successfully as well in recent years, to name a few that come to mind quickly. Fordham Law Review has been spectacularly successful in recent years and at some point I'd like to investigate what led to their success--I bet it's in part due to some excellent symposia.
There is a danger of committing to pieces sight-unseen. There is little incentive for the authors to then turn in their best work.
Alfred L. Brophy
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