How to Choose a Law Review: An Empirical Study
71.2 Journal of Legal Education 311 (2023)
39 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2019 Last revised: 30 Oct 2023
Date Written: January 27, 2022
We perform an empirical study on law reviews to evaluate a key criterion for legal scholars in making publication decisions: publishing schools’ ranking. We compare ranking with impact factor and case citations and show that law professors face a tradeoff between maximizing publication prestige and scholarship exposure. School ranking correlates with impact factor better than it does with case citations, with surprising outliers. School ranking is also more stable than impact factor. The optimal publication strategy for authors depends on whether they want to maximize prestige among peers or rather their impact on the discipline, as well as on authors’ career stage and risk averseness. These findings have implications for law school hiring, law review reform, and the study of exposure bias in academia.
Keywords: legal journals, law reviews, publishing, legal academia, impact factor, academic tenure, law professors, legal profession
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