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Tax (and Lots of Other) Scholars Need Not Apply: The Changing Venue for Scholarship

Posted: 5 Jan 2001  

William Turnier

University of North Carolina School of Law


In this article Professor Turnier, using tax scholarship as an example, illustrates the degree to which placement of an article in a major law review is a function of the general subject matter of the piece. Tax scholarship was once a favorite at major reviews accounting for about 12% of articles published 50 years ago and at present accounting for around 2% of all such scholarship. The present favorites at major journals are constitutional law (about 18%) and criminal law (about 10%) and articles dealing with race and feminist themes. Business and commercial law topics rank down near the bottom in terms of acceptability.

The article makes the point that the low level of interest in taxation at major reviews and their high level of interest in the previously mentioned favorites is in no way reflective of the interest levels of the general public in these topics and the needs of the practising bar based on studies of attornies that indicate to what subject matter areas most lawyers spend their time.

The article notes the degree to which specialty tax journals have come to replace major law reviews in use by the judiciary and in policy discussions both in academe and in government circles. It also empirically illustrates that the tax scholarship of tax professors that is of most help to government policy makers is not scholarship on major structural redesign but scholarship on technical structural improvement.

The article makes heavy use of empirical data to make its points.

Notes: This is a description of the paper and not the actual abstract.

Suggested Citation

Turnier, William, Tax (and Lots of Other) Scholars Need Not Apply: The Changing Venue for Scholarship. Journal of Legal Education, Vol. 50, P. 189, 2000. Available at SSRN:

William J. Turnier (Contact Author)

University of North Carolina School of Law ( email )

Van Hecke-Wettach Hall, 160 Ridge Road
CB #3380
Chapel Hill, NC 27599-3380
United States
(919) 962-4114 (Phone)

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