Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Advice to Law Journals: Part 3

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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I had a little bit to do with the development of the Fordham con law symposia when I was an editor. One of the key things we did ties into another part of your advice to journals -- we wanted to get key faculty involved, both for their own work and for their ability to get high-profile people to participate. Various faculty were involved, but Jim Fleming was the real driver behind the success of the con law symposia.

Posted by: Ben Barros | Aug 21, 2007 4:33:54 PM

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