92 A.B.A. J. 20 (2006)
Revising Law Review

handle is hein.journals/abaj92 and id is 514 raw text is: IDA  FRMTE  RN

Journals Struggle for Relevancy
in a Field Redefined by the Internet
end of February, Pau
Caron, who teaches t
University of Cincinr
lege of Law, got an e-
the editor-in-chief of
Law Journal. Caron h
to publish the TaxPr(
a heavily hit online s
news, updates, and ir
ive articles on tax policy and legislation.
And it happened that in a few days the U.S. S
Court would be hearing oral arguments in a big i
Yale Law Journal editor Curtis J. Mahoney ask
Caron would put a link on his Web log to the jot
new online publication, The Pocket Part, for an
article on the case. The link was to an op-ed-
style version, with comments from others, of
a full-length article yet to be published in the
more traditional way.
Caron, whose institution earned a respect-
able enough No. 53 in the most recent U.S.
News & World Report law school rankings that
pegged Yale No. 1, obliged.
. The Yale Law Journal is as big a cheese
as there is in the law review business, Caron
says. For them this was a way of making law
reviews more relevant-trying to protect the
franchise. In the old days, that article wouldn't
have been available till after it was in print.
Now it has real-time access, and it makes
scholarship more current and influential.
While this anecdote may not illustrate a
complete reversal of fortune, it does indicate
a fast melting in what has been a glacial habi-
tat for law reviews and scholars-with the in-
termediate intellectualism of the Internet heati
things up.
The example of the Yale Law Journal going fc
diacy and impact is in part an answer to growing
ness with law reviews. Recent critics have includ
Richard A. Posner of the Chicago-based 7th U.S
Court of Appeals and Judge Harry T. Edwards o
Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia C

Their complaints concerned, among other things, em-
phasis on theoretical rather than practical articles, too
much reliance on selection and editing by second-year
law students with little or no faculty supervision, and a
lack of peer review.
We definitely noticed the criticism of law review arti-
cles, says Mahoney, who recently finished his tenure as
editor-in-chief of the Yale Law Journal and who graduat-
ed this spring. A lot of students share those concerns.
What we see when sitting for exams or when working a
summer job seems pretty far removed from what profes-
sors have been increasingly writing about.
The imminent demise of law reviews was predicted a
decade ago by Bernard J. Hibbitts, who teaches at the
University of Pittsburgh School of Law. Hibbitts be-
lieved then, and now, that the Internet is as great or
greater an engine for revolutionary change as Guten-
berg's printing press once was.
Hibbits predicted, he's holding to it and hasn't pub-
lished in a law review in 10 years. He is, however, all
over the Internet, including as publisher and editor-in-
chief for Jurist, which he describes as a real-time legal
news and research service.
The most prestigious law reviews are still published
by the most prestigious law schools, in predictable or-
der, Hibbitts says. That much is still true. But they
don't serve the same function. They're no longer the pri-

Paul Caron: There's no evidence yet that bloggers are all hat and no cattle.

mary way we circulate our ideas.
Some of the criticism is answered by adaptations such
as Yale's The Pocket Part, which is named for the pockets
on the backs of legal publications that hold updates.
Others are responding by turning to the Internet, hosting
online forums and posting preprints of working papers
on Web sites.
By the time a paper reaches the print stage now, it


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