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95 Iowa L. Rev. Bull. 1 (2009-2010)

handle is hein.journals/iowalrb1 and id is 1 raw text is: Introducing the Iowa Law Review Bulletin
Randall P. Bezanson
In the academic world, progress comes gradually. The same is true-
perhaps even more true-in the academic world of law reviews, where the
full editorial board and all of the writers and managers of the publication
change annually. The law school, through a faculty advisor, oversees with a
very light touch on the premise that learning involves failures as well as
successes. At least this is the case with the Iowa Law Review.1
This is very much like creating a new publishing organization from
scratch every year and giving that organization only a one-year window in
which to fail or thrive. A law review is a complex organization, and the
owners and managers and workers are all students with little or no
experience. If it weren't for habits and traditions-and lethargy-this state
of affairs would be a mess. But thanks to a fixed one-year term limit, little
fundamental damage can be done. Change the cover once in a while, add
more staff, shift publishing priorities for a time, plead for funding from
subscribers, donors, and the law school. That sort of change.
Thus the institution of the law review has persisted and, through the
smallest increments of change, thrived. It remains the primary locus of
academic publication in the legal world. Those in other academic fields
consider it a miracle, or a travesty-the latter group consisting especially of
academics whose work is judged by students.
But fundamental change is now in the air. It is driven by technology and
economics, not passing academic conceits. Like newspapers, law reviews are
finding the cost of the printed word and the bound issue and volume too
much to bear: printing contracts, paper and ink, postage, and so on. But
these have always been problems. The more fundamental change is the
irrelevance of print in the digital age and the new audiences and uses that
* David H. Vernon Professor ofLawx, The University of lowa College ofLawx.
1. For more on the history of the Jowa Law Review, see generally Randall P. Bezanson,
Reflections on the Iowa Law Review Past and 1Tulre, 75 lotw L. REV. 829 (1990); Willard L. Boyd,
Judging the Iowa Law School, 75 Iowat L. RENT. 819 (1990); Willard L. Boyd & Randall P. Bezanson,
Ninety Years of the Iowa Lawx Review: The Personalities, Policies, and Events that Shaped an Enduting
Tradition in lowa LegalEducation, 91 Iowx L. REV. 1 (2005); Arthur L. Goodhart, The/jubilee of the
Iowa Law ReNew, 50 IOW L. REV. 1 (1964); N. William Hines, The lowa Law Review: A Tradilion
of Exellece, 75 IOWA L. REV. 821 (1990); Mason Ladd, The Iowa Lawx Review: Maturity of Fifty
Yeats, 50 Iow L. REV. 5 (1964); Frank R. Strong, The Iowa Law Review al Age Fijy, 50 lotw L.
REV. 12 (1964).


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