Selecting Selectors and Flipping Books

2017 Green Bag Almanac & Reader 1

12 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2017

See all articles by Ross E. Davies

Ross E. Davies

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty; The Green Bag

Date Written: October 10, 2017


Last year (2016) was supposed to be our second round of conducting an open, two-step process for picking “exemplary legal writing” honorees for the Green Bag Almanac & Reader. Unfortunately, it did not work out very well. Our best guess is that we were victims of our own success. In recent years, some legal writers have begun to value recognition in the Green Bag Almanac & Reader. We had some inkling of this pleasing trend, but developments during the 2016 nomination process really brought it home. We had imagined experts who read widely and wrote seriously in their day jobs — judges, litigators, law professors, and so on — applying their wisdom and experience to identify and honor the best legal writing they found anywhere. We did not imagine them focusing on putting their own work (or the work of their closest associates) in the spotlight. But we were wrong. Maybe the experts — more worldly than the naïfs at the Green Bag — know that “read global, nominate local” is the best way to operate in this context. Or maybe, in the real world, experts don’t have time to read outside their own circles. Or maybe something else. Wrong or right, though, we felt we had failed at the nominations stage of our process in 2016. So, we called off the vote and set to tinkering again. And we were fortunate to have a ready fix at our fingertips.

Keywords: flipbook, Johnson, Lyndon, Marshall, Supreme Court, Thurgood

Suggested Citation

Davies, Ross E., Selecting Selectors and Flipping Books (October 10, 2017). 2017 Green Bag Almanac & Reader 1, Available at SSRN:

Ross E. Davies (Contact Author)

George Mason University - Antonin Scalia Law School, Faculty ( email )

3301 Fairfax Drive
Arlington, VA 22201
United States

The Green Bag ( email )

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United States


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