How to Choose a Law Review: An Empirical Study

39 Pages Posted: 9 Jul 2019 Last revised: 30 Oct 2023

See all articles by Ignacio Cofone

Ignacio Cofone

McGill University Faculty of Law

Pierre-Jean G. Malé

Harvard University - Faculty of Arts and Sciences

Date Written: January 27, 2022

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Cofone, Ignacio and Malé, Pierre-Jean G., How to Choose a Law Review: An Empirical Study (January 27, 2022). 71.2 Journal of Legal Education 311 (2023), McGill SGI Research Papers in Business, Finance, Law and Society Research Paper No. 2023-02, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3415599 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3415599

Ignacio Cofone (Contact Author)

McGill University Faculty of Law ( email )

3644 Peel Street
Montreal H3A 1W9, Quebec H3A 1W9
Canada

HOME PAGE: http://www.ignaciocofone.com

Pierre-Jean G. Malé

Harvard University - Faculty of Arts and Sciences ( email )

1875 Cambridge Street
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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