What's in a Name? The Letterhead Impact Project
Journal of Legal Studies Education, Vol. 22, No. 1, pp. 65-98, Summer/Fall 2004
34 Pages Posted: 17 Apr 2007
What's in a name? The Letterhead Impact Project addresses the question, "Do student law review articles editors favor submissions from 'first tier' law schools?" The expected answer for the law professors I have asked is, "Of course." A colleague's visit to George Mason University (GMU), a top-40 law school in the U.S. News and World Report rankings, gave an opportunity to test this assumption. The experiment was simple. Law reviews of the top-50 ranked law schools were assigned to one of two groups. One of the groups was sent a manuscript using the letterhead from South Texas College of Law, our home institution. The other group was sent the exact same manuscript using the letterhead from GMU. In a surprising result, the groups showed no significant statistical difference in terms of number of days to acknowledge the paper, number of days until first contact or the number of days until acceptance or rejection of the paper. The sole offer the paper did receive was from a law review receiving the paper on GMU letterhead. Letterhead Impact Project goes into the background of the experiment, considers briefly the plight of law review articles editors, and gives the method and results for the study. It also considers various reasons for the lack of any statistically significant differences between the two groups.
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