Writing About the Law New York Law School NYLS Above the Law.jpgRight now we’re in the audience for this panel at the NYLS conference on writing about the law:
Morning Panel #1 (9:30-10:45): Just Cite It! The Traditional Law Review Structure
Law reviews have been attacked as irrelevant and their student editors criticized as incompetent, yet legal scholars still need to publish in law reviews to get and keep their jobs. What role does the traditional law review play, what role should it play, and should it be continued?
Panelists and Moderator:
* James Lindgren, Professor, Northwestern University School of Law and Cofounder of the section on Scholarship of the Association of American Law Schools.
* Randy E. Barnett, Professor, Georgetown University Law Center and senior fellow at the Cato Institute and the Goldwater Institute.
* Ann Althouse, Professor, University of Wisconsin School of Law and author and blogger.
* Paul Caron, Professor, University of Cincinnati School of Law and Publisher and Editor of TaxProf Blog
* Cameron Stracher (Moderator), Codirector, Program in Law & Journalism and Publisher, New York Law School Law Review.
Commentary after the jump.


The panelists as a whole have many favorable things to say about the traditional law review structure. These are our rough paraphrases of their thoughts:
Paul Caron: Lots of advantages to the current system. Good training for the students; many publication outlets for the professors.
Ann Althouse: I’m more enthusiastic about the traditional law review structure than years ago, when I publicly criticized it in an article. A lot of this is due to the rise of blogging. Blogging provides an outlet for shorter-form, quicker academic commentary. Student-run law reviews provide a forum for serious, exhaustively researched, longer-form analysis. They are part of a grand old tradition — a tradition that should endure.
Randy Barnett: One big advantage of student-run law reviews over peer-reviewed ones is that students actually do WORK. They engage in the cite-checking and line-edting that just don’t get done at peer reviewed journals.
A second advantage is that it’s educational for the students on the law reviews who participate in the process. In a sense, it’s like part of legal education has been “outsourced”: law professors educate law students at schools other than their own, by working with these students on the editing of their own articles.
James Lindgren: Randy Barnett stole all my points. Christ, what an a**hole!
(Yes, these are paraphrases. The courtly and genial Professor Lindgren did not call his fellow Volokh Conspirator an “a**hole.”)
Random fashion thoughts:
Professors Barnett and Stracher are both rockin’ the “downtown auteur” look: black or dark blue suit, dark collarless shirt, no tie. Not bad in a vacuum, but unfortunate that they’re on the same panel with the same look (except as to the color of their shirts).
Professors Lindgren and Caron: We don’t like shirts with button-down collars to be worn with suits. We wear button-down shirts sometimes (even though the Office of Sartorial Counsel has declared them inappropriate on ALL occasions — we dissent).
But we never wear our button-downs with suits.
Professor Althouse: Great hair!
(We may post pictures at a later point in time.)
(Conference graphic courtesy of TaxProf Blog.)


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