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Twenty-Five Years of Student Scholarship in Judicial Opinions

22 Pages Posted: 7 Mar 2007  

Blake K. Rohrbacher

Richards, Layton & Finger

Date Written: June 1, 2005


This paper examines patterns in judicial citation of student notes. The paper discusses a data set of opinions citing notes written in the last twenty-five years (roughly 4000 unique note citations), from all levels of U.S. courts, including data on the location, level, and nature (state or federal) of each court citing each note, as well as the years in which each note was cited. These data allow detailed analysis of citation patterns and provide a way to measure, albeit indirectly, the influence of student scholarship on judicial common-lawmaking. The paper first presents data regarding the most-cited individual notes. Then, the paper examines the journals that garnered the most citations to notes published in those journals. Finally, the paper discusses various citation patterns, including a breakdown of court characteristics and their relationship to note citations, the trend of decreasing note citations over time, and the effect of recency of publication on note citation. Finally, the paper presents data on the states and courts that most cite student notes.

Keywords: citation study, student scholarship, judicial opinions

Suggested Citation

Rohrbacher, Blake K., Twenty-Five Years of Student Scholarship in Judicial Opinions (June 1, 2005). Available at SSRN: or

Blake K. Rohrbacher (Contact Author)

Richards, Layton & Finger ( email )

One Rodney Square
Wilmington, DE 19899
United States

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