So New York Times lawyer turned columnist Adam Liptak again revisits the continuing irrelevance of law reviews at “The Lackluster Reviews That Lawyers Love to Hate.” He cites new studies that underscore every writer’s timeless truth: no matter how much we hope — what we write won’t always get read.
Liptak, of course, has written about irrelevant law reviews before. The last time was more than 6 years ago at “When Rendering Decisions, Judges Are Finding Law Reviews Irrelevant.” I remember because in 2010 I also posted about the uncracked spines of all those law reviews at “Too many law schools, lamppost drunks and unread law reviews.”
According to one report earlier this year about pedagogical papers generally, “Academics do a lot of research. The pressure to perform research in order to earn tenure generates, by some estimates, about 1.5 million new articles a year.” That’s a lot of shovelfuls up Bandini Mountain.
So how can anyone keep up with all of that? And not to mention that when life’s already too short to read a boring book, it’s even more abbreviated for irrelevant esoteric erudition.
Besides, with the mass of information and deluge of online social media, we’re already overwhelmed by what one academic calls a “Knowledge Overload.”
Not paying attention.
You almost feel sorry for the law professors, the non-practicing class of lawyers who research, write and care more than they should about what they get published in these law reviews.
Not coincidentally, they make up the bulk of the complainers. Ironically, they are the architects of the problem since they oversee the student editorial boards that produce the shelves full of unread law reviews. What’s worse, it’s the law professors themselves who are to blame for the immaterial content.
Yet, like shameless chow hounds griping about food quality while loading up their trays for the third time at the all-you-can-eat-buffet, “Ungrateful people forget what they are not grateful for.”