This week I have been talking to my summer law clerk about her recent selection to be a staff member of the Arizona State University Law Journal. She is a very bright young lady who just finished her first year of law school at ASU. Her selection reminded me of my experience as a staff member and the associate managing editor of the Pacific Law Journal at my law school, the McGeorge School of Law at the University of the Pacific.
Before my law review experience I hated writing. It was very difficult for me to write my article, but the article was selected for publication in the law journal. My year as the associate managing editor taught me about writing and to overcome my fear and reluctance to write. The managing editor and I were responsible for reading and editing every word of the two hard copy editions of the journal that were published during my tenure.
Law review is a nice feather in the cap of young law school grads seeking jobs early in their career, but the experience itself has intangible benefits.
An article in Forbes called “Abolish the Law Reviews!Abolish the Law Reviews!” contains the following true statement about law reviews:
“Whereas most periodicals are published primarily in order that they may be read, the law reviews are published primarily in order that they may be written.”
The article makes a point with which I agree. The print version of law reviews should be abolished. The Harvard Law Review had 1,896 subscibers in 2010-11. I suspect that most law reviews have a lot fewer subscribers. Law reviews should be online only.