15 Gonz. L. Rev. 1 (1979-1980)
Editing a Law Review - Remarks to the Twenty-Fifth National Conference of Law Reviews

handle is hein.journals/gonlr15 and id is 21 raw text is: GONZAGA LAW REVIEW

VOLUME 15                      1979                     NUMBER 1

Michael J. Killeen*
An editor does not add to a book. At best he serves as a handmaiden
to an author. Don't ever get to feeling important about yourself, because
an editor at most releases energy. He creates nothing . . . . The process
is so simple. . . . If you have a Mark Twain, don't try to make him into
a Shakespeare or make a Shakespeare into a Mark Twain. Because in the
end an editor can get only as much out of an author as the author has in
I am both honored and delighted to be addressing the Twenty-
fifth National Conference of Law Reviews. Honored because this
role is usually reserved for a senior statesman of the law; delighted
because I have an opportunity to present to you new editors my
thoughts on the task that lies ahead of you. Having recently occu-
pied the position of editor-in-chief, I can well appreciate the anxiety
you feel as you realize the enormous responsibility you have as-
sumed. You are no doubt eager to begin planning next year's issues,
anticipating the excitement of aiding in the development of new
legal theories, and challenged by the thought of criticizing the work
of your professors, peers, and members of the bar. But the disturb-
ing question arises: How do you edit a law review?
As with many other skills, law review editing is learned largely
by doing. Unfortunately, the doers only perform for a year and then
graduate, leaving the next generation of editors to fend for them-
selves. This annual turnover is to my mind the biggest single reason
for the uneven quality of law reviews, their perpetual tardiness, and
* Associate, Davis, Wright, Todd, Riese & Jones, Seattle, Washington. B.A., Gonzaga
University; J.D., Gonzaga University School of Law 1977. Member, Washington State Bar.
Mr. Killeen was Editor-in-Chief, Volume 12, Gonzaga Law Review.
1. A. Bm, MAx PERKINs: EDrroR ow GENIUs 6 (1978).

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