Tuesday, February 28, 2023
Study Shows Hierarchy, Race and Gender Impact Scholarly Networks and Who is Helped on Their Legal Academic Path
Keerthana Nunna, W. Nicholson Price II & Jonathan Tietz, Hierarchy Race and Gender in Legal Scholarly Networks, 75 Stanford Law Review 71 (Feb. 2023)
A potent myth of legal academic scholarship is that it is mostly meritocratic and mostly solitary. Reality is more complicated. In this Article, we plumb the networks of knowledge co-production in legal academia by analyzing the star footnotes that appear at the beginning of most law review articles. Acknowledgments paint a rich picture of both the currency of scholarly credit and the relationships among scholars. Building on others’ prior work characterizing the potent impact of hierarchy, race, and gender in legal academia more generally, we examine the patterns of scholarly networks and probe the effects of those factors. The landscape we illustrate is depressingly unsurprising in basic contours but awash in details. Hierarchy, race, and gender all have substantial effects on who gets acknowledged and how, what networks of knowledge co-production get formed, and who is helped on their path through the legal academic world.